Instant Payouts posted by: Matin Tamizi

We released our Push to Card API a few weeks ago to allow marketplaces to send money to a customer’s checking account using a debit card number. Starting today, Balanced now supports instant payouts to 50% of bank accounts in the U.S. using the same API and debit card number. We’re working on bringing instant payouts to over 70% of debit card users in the U.S. in the coming weeks.

What does “instant” mean?

The money will be available in a customer’s bank account within seconds. By available, I mean the customer will see an increase in their Available Balance and be able to spend the money within seconds of the payout. The payout is instant even during evenings, weekends, and holidays.

How does Balanced make instant transfers?

We currently partner with the ATM networks NYCE, Pulse, STAR, and SHAZAM. Those networks allow us to move money instantly to bank accounts at 4,500 banks—including TD Bank, PNC Bank, Capital One, Fifth Third, RBS Citizens, and Comerica. We’re working hard to partner with more networks to improve our coverage.

Why does instant matter?

There’s a delay from when a marketplace issues a payout to when the money shows up in a customer’s bank account. We affectionately refer to the period during the delay as “the black hole of payments”. It’s the stressful period where a marketplace and their customer is left wondering, “Where’s my money!?” We’ve tried to reduce the size of the black hole and provide more transparency into it, but we want to eliminate the black hole altogether. We’re now 50% of the way there.

Why else does this matter?

We’ve seen marketplaces where more than half of the sellers on the marketplace are also buyers on the same marketplace. If you sell a handbag, you may want to use that same money to buy a dress. Paying a customer using their debit card means the customer can use the same debit card on file to make a purchase.

We fell in love with marketplaces because we believe marketplaces enable new commerce, and we want to eliminate the awkwardness and friction in payments. Instant payouts takes us one step closer to that goal.