14 instant payments use cases you can adopt right now

How can your business benefit from new instant payment methods like FedNow, RTPs, push-to-card, or Zelle? If you’re wondering when and where to deploy these new electronic transactions, the answer is “right now” for your payables, receivables, or inter-company funds transfers. 

Adopting even just one instant payment method can help you accelerate your settlement timeframes, gain greater control of your funds, and streamline how your customers and suppliers do business with you. 

Leverage embedded payments to save time, simplify processes

Instant payments can offer secure, reliable transactions that settle in the blink of an eye, with 24 x 7 x 365 availability. Their flexibility is one of the biggest benefits. Unlike checks, cash, or other traditional methods that can require manual handling and complicated processing, you can easily embed instant payments in your company systems, website or apps—even your online products and services. That integration and efficiency can be transformative. 

For example, instead of mailing out customer invoices and collecting checks at your lockbox you can send electronic invoices, embed a “pay now” button, and accept instant payment types that let customers pay you immediately. Consumers, in particular, appreciate this electronic convenience. Your business can shave days (or even weeks) from your cash conversion cycle. 

Behind-the-scenes, you can use API connections to instant payment providers or your bank to save your treasury staff time and effort. For example, instead of logging into multiple portals to execute time-sensitive transactions like wire transfers, you can embed instant payment functionality within your ERP or accounting system. 

These are just two examples of how instant payments can cut through complexity and generate tangible returns for your business. 

Explore these 14 options for instant payments

Only your ingenuity limits how your business taps into instant payments. Every day, companies, banks, developers, and fintechs add innovative new use cases to the growing list of ways that instant payments add value. 

Below are many great ways for your business to get started. 

Help strengthen relationships with your business partners

  1. Make time-sensitive payments to essential suppliers. Use same-day payments to keep your supply chain flowing smoothly while maximizing your idle cash.  
  2. Digital transformation. Help you and your business partners eliminate Cash and Checks and transform your business processes to a more efficient and completely digital experience. 
  3. Provide stronger remittance data to accompany each payment. Fulfill “requests for payment” and help valued suppliers streamline reconciliation and account management. 
  4. Make payoffs at mortgage or loan closings. Transact with confidence, speed and finality.

Delight your customers with speed and convenience

  1. Receive 24/7 bill payments from customers. Help consumers and businesses avoid late fees and keep their accounts in good standing with same-day settlement options.
  2. Facilitate immediate purchases and upgrades from within your product or service. Generate more revenue while users enjoy (and grow) the online tools and SaaS services they rely on. 
  3. Accept rental deposits. Whether it’s first and last month’s rent on a new apartment, extra chairs for a party, or a van for moving cross-country, renters and lessees appreciate the convenience of instant payment.
  4. Solve customer service calls with instant refunds. Issue immediate payments when customers have warranty claims, receive damaged goods, or return unused items.
  5. Provide insurance claims settlements to policyholders. Help those with a loss begin the recovery process with peace-of-mind and fast access to funds. 

Simplify life for your valued employees

  1. Offer same-day payouts to contractors, freelancers, and gig employees. Create a competitive advantage that helps you attract and retain hourly and project-based workers. 
  2. Issue emergency payroll for the company workforce. Be prepared to support employees if issues arise with traditional channels. 
  3. Disburse per diems to traveling students, athletes, or staff. Colleges and universities, non-profits, and businesses can all reduce the hassles associated with lost, stolen, or misplaced cash and checks.
  4. Eliminate petty cash for ad hoc purchases. Use instant payments to reduce risk and provide stronger audit trails for unplanned expenses; centralize tracking and approvals across your company locations. 
  5. Transfer company funds between domestic accounts. Accelerate money movement and maximize your control to support your company’s working capital strategy.

Take the first step with instant payments

These are just a few of the opportunities for businesses to leverage RTPs, FedNow, Zelle, push-to-card, and other instant payment options. To get started, contact your bank and discuss your most important use cases. You’ll likely be surprised at how quickly you can launch your instant payments solution.