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3 Innovative Digital Payment Options for AP

Who doesn’t want to be on the cutting edge in their industry?

In accounts payable (AP), that means being up to date on the latest and more innovative digital payment options.

The right payment option results in a smooth and efficient procure to pay process and a more productive AP team. Today we’re going to focus on three innovative digital payments, options that you can enable via AP automation.

To discover all your digital payment options, including the ones talked about here along with wire transfers and regular ACH, check out our expansive AP automation best practices guide



1) Same-Day ACH

Automated clearing house (ACH) has consistently been among the top 5 of any list of common B2B payment methods.

With the increasing emphasis on reducing costs while also streamlining the procure to pay process, forward-thinking companies have looked for innovative digital payment methods. This is where Same-Day ACH enters the picture.

What is Same-Day ACH? It’s a more recent and more immediate version of traditional ACH.

The best reasoning behind utilizing same-day ACH is that they are recurring and automatic — saving time, reducing paper, and ensuring bills are always paid on time. Same-Day ACH also allows payment posting on the same business day — if initiated before a set time of day.

Downsides include less privacy, loss of control, and the potential for unmonitored automated payments overdrawing or overpaying a charge.

Per NACHA, Same-Day ACH payment volume rose 39% to 347 million in 2020. The $460 billion in total value of Same Day ACH payments in 2020 was an 86% increase compared to the prior year. This increase in using Same-Day ACH is expected to continue in 2021 and onwards.



2) Real-Time Payments

What are Real-Time Payments?

In accounts payable, this term refers to one of the newer digital payment options being used to pay suppliers and vendors. Real-Time Payments (RTP) combines:

  • Instant payment confirmation

  • Integrated information flows

  • Immediate fund availability

  • Settlement finality

  • 5 second transaction time

For these reasons and more, companies are looking to use RTP from now and onwards.

According to Mastercard, 33% of companies plan to roll out Real-Time Payments innovations in the next three years, and 32% plan to introduce innovations related to automated payables.

RTP cost significantly less than traditional payment options like paper checks and about the same as the other non-instant electronic payments. Another fast-growing electronic payment is what we’re going over next: virtual credit cards (Vcards).



3) Virtual Cards

One key AP innovation growing popular today is the adoption of Virtual Cards.

What are virtual card payments?

Vcards are a new payment method which enables companies to assign vendors or supplier to digital card number that are randomly generated and expire after their approved use is completed.

This rise in Virtual Card use is occurring because they allow firms to break the cycle of payment delays and inefficiencies and enable remote payments. Not convinced? Check out this blog post going over 6 great reasons to use Vcard payments.

Per a study we created with, we expect Virtual Cards to reach $1 trillion in B2B payments by 2022, generating tens of billions of dollars in rebates. In addition, minimizing paper process by switching to digital payment processes saves U.S. businesses $150 billion a year.

Another draw for Virtual Cards is the additional revenue stream they open up via rebates. Here at OnPay Solutions, our Vcard solution enables you to turn spend into profit with up to 1% cashback on AP spend via monthly rebates.




Technology is progressing by leaps and bounds. In accounts payable and B2B payments, that means an increase in volume of payments that are conducted via Same-Day ACH, Real-Time Payments, and Virtual Cards.

Stay ahead of your competition by using one or more of these digital AP payment options!

If you’re ready to start a conversation about advancing your AP department into the future with our help, reach out today. 

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