Account to account payments: Unlock growth with Modulr

Modulr By Modulr on 8 November 2023   •   13 mins read
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If you’re looking to improve your account to account payments (A2A payments) setup, you’re likely doing so because:

  • You currently process payment with batch payments, which is too slow. It often takes days to settle payments this way, slowing down your product and customer experience.

  • You are restricted to sending your payments in working hours only.

  • Your customer support and finance teams have to log into the online banking website portal to get visibility on payments, and match them manually. When it’s thousands of payments per day, this becomes incredibly manual and time consuming.

  • Your customers are demanding instant payments. They want to be aware of the status of a payment at all times and your current solutions don’t enable this.

  • You’re looking for ways to move away from card payments and reduce costs as your volume grows.

To help you understand how you can overcome these challenges, we spoke to our payments expert Joe Boot. He explained to us:

Modulr helps growing companies of all sizes unlock the opportunities of account to account payments. Contact us today to see how we can help you change the way you handle payments.

What to look for in an account-to-account payment solution if you want to scale easily

When we talk about account to account payments, we’re referring to transfers between accounts. This could be through any means outside of credit card transactions, including direct debits, Faster Payments, SEPA, Bacs, and more.

We’ve been providing companies with embedded payment solutions to make account to account payments easier since 2016. Based on our experience, these are our top recommendations to consider when looking to upgrade your current payment solution.

  • Make sure your service provider directly connects to the fastest payment scheme available. For customers, speed is everything. Your provider should be able to provide you with access to the fastest payment schemes available. Your customers, finance department and overall proposition will then benefit from immediate payments and reconciliation, while keeping costs down.  

  • Select a provider that offers true 24/7 settlement. Many providers claim to offer 24/7 settlement, but that might not actually be the case. With some providers, you might be stuck with a smaller processing window that only lets them settle payments during weekdays between 9 am and 5 pm. In that case, your product will suffer as payment delays impact your customer experience. The provider you work with should let you initiate and settle account to account payments regardless of the time of day.

  • Use an API-first provider to ensure that you can scale without impacting your teams or overrunning costs. APIs are built to scale as they can handle volume without additional code. With an API, you can embed payments into your platform instead of plugging into a third-party payment service or uploading batch files to your bank. This technology enables your finance teams to stay lean and your bottom lines to remain robust.

How to embed Modulr’s account to account payment tools into your workflow

Modulr is an embedded payments provider operating in the UK and Europe with authorisations from the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK and de Nederlandsche Bank in the EU. We work with leading companies of all sizes, across numerous verticals, including financial services, marketplaces, travel, payroll services and accounting, to help with embedded payments.

Our API-based platform allows us to support companies looking to scale and offer a much more intuitive online payment experience to their customers.

Our account to account payment feature works on two levels, with enabling you to quickly move funds from one account to another:

  1. External transfers that clear between one person’s or company’s account to another at a different financial entity.

  2. Internal transactions on our platform via our electronic money institution (EMI) accounts.

For external transfers, we’re able to offer our customers access to the fastest account-to-account payment schemes available. In particular, we’re a direct participant in the UK’s Faster Payments scheme. Through this payment rail, we can make a payment within 90 seconds, regardless of the time of day, or if it’s a weekday or the weekend.

With Modulr, external payments can happen via:

For internal transfers, we facilitate account to account payments through our EMI accounts. These accounts let you, and your customers, deposit, store, and transfer funds between them. Since they sit within our system, transfers happen instantly and can be initiated at any time. Additionally, you and your customers can receive transfers from external accounts directly into our EMI accounts. This helps with reconciliation, visibility of funds and allows you to set up custom payment flows.

We have a 99.99% uptime, which lets our customers and their partners make account to account payments whenever they want, whether through EMI accounts or over external schemes.

All of our embedded payment solutions are accessible through our REStful application programming interface (API). That gives our customers the ability to quickly build and incorporate powerful payment features including:

  • Instant payment initiation.

  • Real time payment and event notification through webhooks.

  • Automatic reconciliation.

  • Access to our other products and solutions that help you enable the power of payments, like Confirmation of Payee.

Why upgrade to Modulr for your account to account payments

These are the main reasons why our customers love using Modulr for their payment needs.

Make external account to account transfers possible 24/7 with our direct connection to Faster Payments

You and your customers need to be able to transact with each other at any time of the day. Our direct participation with the UK’s Faster Payments scheme enables us to communicate directly, so payments happen within seconds – something that’s crucial if speed is your main concern.

With Modulr, you don’t have to rely on an intermediary to access instant payment services which helps you avoid:

  • Payment processing delays since indirect participants have to queue alongside other customers to get access to the scheme.

  • The risks associated with exposing sensitive data in a multi-party digital payment chain.

  • A greater potential for slower processing with multiple parties involved in the payment chain.

With Modulr, you or your customers can make a transfer over Faster Payments at any time day or night. As part of our Service Level Agreement, we submit your payment to the payment scheme within 90 seconds of receiving it. We then forward it onto the network where it reaches the beneficiary within seconds. You’ll no longer need to wait hours for a batch process to run when making account to account transfers.

Likewise, as direct participants, we can receive funds from your counterparties at any moment. If they send a transfer to you or your customer, you’ll get the credit within seconds. All these payment schemes are accessible through our API, making it easy to incorporate and build around them.

Get visibility on your funds with EMI accounts

Depending on your business model, your customers might have to transact with each other as well as with your company. If not handled well, you could quickly lose track of who holds what on your platform while trying to reconcile balances on external accounts.

Our regulated EMI accounts feature solves this problem. This product allows you to create an unlimited number of holding accounts complete with dedicated account numbers and sort codes for each one. 
Using our EMI accounts, you can:

  • Alleviate many of the bottlenecks around account to account payments

  • Give instant visibility to who holds what on your platform, letting you provide a better experience to your customers and relieve pressure on finance teams.

  • Make your products even better as payments help unlock new functionalities (as we’ll see in the example below).

Let’s take early wage access, which helps workers get early access pay for work they’ve already completed. With our EMI accounts, an earned-wage-access platform using our account-to-account payments can set up an account for each worker, allowing for funds to be processed straight to their bank account.

Whenever a worker requests their earned wage, the platform sends us a message over API to create the payment. Using Modulr, the lender can immediately move the funds from the platform’s EMI account to the worker, giving them true instant wage access.

The platform receives confirmation of this movement immediately, making reconciliation effortless.
This logic works regardless of the use case. Our EMI accounts have helped companies like Pax2pay, Bubble and Salary Finance make better account to account payments.

Customise and automate your payment flows with our API

Automation across your entire payment process is crucial in order to scale. With some payment solutions, you might struggle to keep up as your volumes increase if you’re forced to manually input and follow up transactions. With our RESTful API, you can customise and automate all steps of your payment journeys including:

  • Initiating payments without using a cumbersome file transfer or third party website.

  • Getting immediate feedback whenever a payment event occurs through a webhook notification.

  • Process refunds through the same payment rails.

This allows you to have full visibility on each payment status for you and your customer. On the building side, you’re free to add payments to your technology stack the way you see fit. With Modulr, our API stays out of the way of your tech stack and user interface, letting you create the payment experience you envision with minimal disruption.

Likewise, you can connect webhook notifications to any part of your platform, system, or external tool. That way, whenever a payment occurs, you’ll be able to:

  • Automatically reconcile your books.

  • Move your customers through a product journey.

  • Update your ERP.

  • Give your customer support and finance teams accurate information whenever they need it.

For example, let’s say that you’re a marketplace platform connecting buyers and sellers. You give each one of your customers an EMI account that they use to settle payments. As soon as a buyer clicks to make a purchase, your system sends us a payment request over the API to initiate the transaction.
As soon as it completes, you’ll receive a notification from us through a webhook. With that, you can tell your buyer and seller that the transfer completed and reconcile the account-to-account payment automatically.

The possibilities with our API are vast, and go far beyond account to account payments. Check out our API documentation to see what it can do for you.  

Save time, money and headaches when it comes to scaling account to account payments

In one way or another, payments touch every part of your business including costs, customer experience, and staff hours. When you scale, your account to account payment system should be able to expand with your business, without adding huge costs. Our embedded payment tools enable you to do just that because you have more freedom over the payment options you use.

With Modulr, you can:

  • Leverage our API to scale your business without adding extra burdens on your tech stack. There’s no real limit to the volume we can handle, which means you can build your account to account payment products for both today and tomorrow in one go.

  • Keep your costs under control as you grow. We offer numerous payment methods that let you choose the most cost-effective one for the transaction at hand. For example, with our Open Banking feature, you can initiate direct bank payments on your platform for one low, fixed fee. Combined with our scalable pricing, you can stay in control of your bottom line as you expand your market share.

  • Create an unlimited amount of EMI accounts. You can create as many EMI accounts as you need, all through the API. Whenever you onboard a new customer, getting them their dedicated account is as simple as sending us a “create account” message over the API. Within seconds, compliant customers will have account details ready to start using.

  • Benefit from instant and automatic reconciliation. Each EMI account gets a dedicated account number. Combined with our API notifications, you’ll be able to automatically reconcile your customers’ transactions whenever a payment event occurs, regardless of whether it’s an internal or external one.

At Modulr, our pricing enables you to achieve all this, while keeping your offering competitive. That way, you can benefit from embedded payments while also unlocking new opportunities.

Ready to learn more about how our accounts to accounts payment supports your bottom line instead of erodes it? Start talking to us now.

How Modulr helps marketplaces use account to account payments to shorten the user experience to seconds

A growing UK-based C2B marketplace was running into an issue: despite having an industry-changing value proposition and a product people love, their payment process was holding them back.

Their service helps customers sell second hand high-ticket goods directly to professional buyers. To help reduce risks and provide a better experience, the buyer goes to the seller’s location to complete the transaction. Here, though, is where the payment issues began.

Before the buyer could leave with the goods, the payment needed clearing from their account to the seller’s. This meant it took many minutes if not hours to clear a transfer, which left both the payer and payee awkwardly waiting for confirmation.

The platform decided it was time to fix their account to account payments problem and turned to Modulr for help. Shortly after contacting them, Modulr’s team of experts went back to the platform with a proposal to leverage its embedded payments solutions to:

  • Settle external payments over Faster Payments within seconds.

  • Give each buyer a dedicated EMI account to ensure funding was in place to make payments on the spot.

After a quick implementation cycle, the results were immediate. Now when a buyer approves a purchase, he only needs to click a couple of buttons on the app. Within seconds, the payment goes from their bank account to a Modulr EMI account on the platform, which then goes directly into the external account of the buyer.

Thanks to Modulr, the platform was able to reduce the payment time from hours to seconds, offering buyers and sellers a much smoother experience.

Upgrade to Modulr for your account to account payments

Modulr’s account-to-account embedded payment solution offers you real-time transactions with full visibility of funds. Thanks to our API, licences, and direct connectivity to some of the fastest payment schemes around, we can provide you with the capability you need to deliver a payment experience your customers will love.

Are you ready to change the way you handle account-to-account payments for the better? Contact one of our sales representatives today and transform the way you handle payments