For 60% of small businesses, the ability to pay to access the money paid to them by their customers, immediately, is considered extremely important.

Yet, quickly processed payments are still out of reach. Instead, both enterprises and individuals end up either waiting days for a standard payout of their money or resorting to physical payment methods like cash or paper checks.

At Orum, we believe in helping money move in ways that best serve all parties involved in a transaction. So today, let’s take a look at another alternative to slow legacy payments – instant payout.

What is an instant payout?

Instant payout is money movement in near real-time, where a transaction is processed and settled in seconds or minutes.

Unlike other payment methods such as ACH, RTP, or the FedNow service, instant payouts are less standardized and could describe a variety of private solutions.

How does instant payout work?

Most common instant payout solutions depend on an API from either of the two large card processors, Visa and Mastercard. Their instant payout solutions are known as Visa Direct and Mastercard Send, respectively.

Both of those products are quite similar in terms of features and how they work. A licensed card acquirer (or another entity that’s sponsored by a licensed card acquirer) can integrate with the relevant API and then act as an originator of transactions through it in the production environment. 

Payments can then be sent to supported debit or prepaid cards using the card number and some other associated details, depending on the exact API implementation.

Instant Payouts Benefits-1

What transactions can be processed through instant payouts?

Only certain types of payments can be sent as instant payouts: 

  • Push payments: These are transactions initiated by the sender, enabling quick and direct transfers. 
  • Mostly domestic transactions: Instant payouts primarily work with domestic transactions, but limited support for international transfers exists, often with eligibility restrictions. 
  • Debit cards and certain prepaid cards only: payouts are typically limited to debit cards and specific prepaid cards, excluding credit cards or credit lines due to differing processing requirements and risk considerations.

What types of payments does instant payout work best for?

While there are many potential use cases for instant payouts, the following scenarios are most common:

  • Person-to-person transfers (P2P)
  • Disbursement for Business and Individuals
    • Insurance claims
    • Earnings and wages
    • Merchant transactions
    • Government or humanitarian aid

3 benefits of instant payout

1. Instant funds availability

The biggest and most obvious benefit is the speed at which instant payouts are processed.

Money is typically made available within minutes or seconds, allowing near-instantaneous money movement.

2. Convenient transfers

Instant payouts are quite straightforward, especially for the end users.

Most API implementations allow account holders to send money from within mobile apps or webpages, simply by entering the receiving party’s card number. 

Most instant payouts also include additional functionality for businesses, providing information alongside each transaction to speed up or automate reconciliation and other record-keeping tasks.

3. Safety and Security 

To gain access to instant payouts, an organization has to pass rigorous checks and meet all the program compliance requirements. 

For example, to be accepted as an originator with Visa Direct, an acquirer needs to manage the following aspects of each payment

  • Transaction submission
    • Financial settlement
    • Dispute management
    • Reporting.

Additionally, since most instant payouts are done using card numbers, the receiving party’s bank account information is never exposed, significantly lowering the potential for fraud and abuse.


Why is there so much interest in instant payout?


Individuals are most interested in instant payouts thanks to the potential to improve their personal finance management. By being able to send and receive money immediately when they need it, people can gain a lot more control and flexibility over their finances.

In addition, because instant payouts can help gig workers or freelancers get paid for their work immediately, individuals can benefit from avoiding late fees or taking out payday loans.


For businesses, instant payout means better cash flow control.

33% of small businesses take on debt because they can’t quickly access their funds. With instant payout, most of these SMBs will no longer have to depend on external sources of funding or worry about interest, as they can immediately use the money when customers purchase goods or services.

With instant payout, businesses can also disperse money a lot faster and easier. Organizations can easily pay their contractors and send customers refunds without delay, satisfying all parties involved.

Financial institutions

Financial institutions and other acquiring organizations can gain a competitive advantage since many of their account holders probably already want to use instant payouts and access faster payments. 

By providing a superior user experience, banks can uncover new revenue streams and encourage new avenues for financial services innovation.


Get paid out instantly with Orum’s API 

At Orum, we’re passionate about helping businesses like yours move money via instant payouts or any other payment method available in the US.

We help you send (or receive) funds without the hassle you could face by initiating those transfers manually yourself or having to meet the extensive compliance and KYC checks that card networks require for approving instant payout access.

Automatically determine the best possible speed for your transaction and mitigate the risks of financial fraud and identity theft for any transfers with Orum API.

If you're ready to implement instant payouts into your product, get in touch!

Ready to move?Let’s talk.