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Visa announces fintech partnership to help companies eliminate $33 trillion in paper checks

Key Points
  • Push payments, the reverse of most transactions because a company is sending money to a customer, are on the rise as tech-savvy firms seek to eliminate checks and other slow forms of disbursement.
  • Visa partnered with Georgia-based Ingo to help companies quickly get onto their push-payment network.
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Visa is partnering with Ingo Money to launch a product for merchants and banks to quickly get onto the payment network's systems allowing fast digital payments to customers.

It's the latest sign of the rise of push-to-card payments where companies use existing card networks to push money to customers, reversing the traditional flow of dollars. In cases where companies want to send money to customers – say, a small business loan or an insurance payout – the method replaces paper checks or the decades-old Automated Clearing House (ACH) network, sending money over debit card rails directly into users' checking accounts.

The advent of peer-to-peer payment platforms like Venmo and Square's cash app helped popularize the "pushing" of payments in real time over the systems of Visa and Mastercard. Now companies like Uber and Lyft use the method to send wages to workers' debit cards for those who can't wait for their regular paydays. Increasingly, tech-savvy companies like small business lender On Deck Capital are using push payments to get money to users in minutes.

As much as $33 trillion in paper checks and ACH payments annually could be replaced by this method, according to Roswell, Georgia-based Ingo. But companies who want to adopt it need to either build or buy systems to help authenticate users and settle the payments, and that's where Ingo comes in.

Its product, called QuickConnect, allows users to get onto Visa Direct faster than if they had to build their own solutions, according to Ingo CEO Drew Edwards. He says that On Deck, KeyBank, Safelite and Snapsheet are already clients.

"Consumers love it, because instead of getting a check, the money goes directly into their accounts," Edwards said. "We're really early in terms of use cases for this getting deployed."