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Alternatives To Cash Payouts

Alternatives To Cash Payouts

Cash may be one of the oldest forms of monetary value, but it’s by no means the only option for growing brands and enterprises. Today’s B2B relies heavily on digital value to send mass payouts, including many alternatives to cash payouts, facilitating more effective payout systems.

This guide explores the alternatives to cash payouts available for B2B brands worldwide. After explaining the pros and cons of each alternative, we also explore how you can integrate cash alternatives into your existing system. With a system like Runa, you can seamlessly send alternatives to cash payouts without overhauling your existing system.


What are the alternatives to cash payouts?

Alternatives to cash payouts are secondary payment options that do not involve the use of cash. They allow you to transfer value without using cash, credit, or card, and do not require you to bank details to facilitate transfers through bank accounts or ACH transfers.

There are six primary alternatives to cash payouts to explore: loyalty points, subscriptions, gift cards, cryptocurrency, e-wallets, and shares.

Let’s explore what these look like in greater detail.

Loyalty points

Loyalty programs are one of the fastest growing forms of digital value in the world. As of 2023, more than  nine in ten companies offer a loyalty program to customers, while eight in ten consumers are members of a subscription, membership, or loyalty program.

You can leverage loyalty points to support mass payouts in a number of different ways. As customers accrue points, percentages, and cashback rewards, businesses can develop innovative  cashout strategies to convert digital value into physical rewards.

Cash can be a time-consuming and unrewarding gift for loyal customers of your business. Instead, you can pivot to a loyalty system offering:

  • Use one integration to access global reach for your brand
  • Send customizable payout links, so customers can convert loyalty points into things they love (such as a new pair of shoes)
  • Connect directly to multiple digital payout types and automatically convert currencies for mass disbursement

Recurring subscriptions

Instead of submitting cash values to recipients on your network, you can send recurring subscriptions  that delight and impress your receivers. Platforms like Runa offer thousands of different subscription types to drive ROI, spike interest, and keep your brand top of mind.

Recurring subscriptions are best used as a cash alternative for:

  • Corporate gifting
  • Marketing incentives
  • Employee rewards and recognition programs
  • Loyalty programs (alongside cashback points)

Company shares

Traditional cash payouts are stagnant in nature and cannot change value over time. Converting cash payouts into company shares, however, can provide a dynamic and interesting payment type that becomes a gift that keeps on giving.

Shares are payout alternatives with growth potential and a major incentive to recipients on your network. Instead of sending $50 directly to recipient accounts, you can instead convert the cash into fractional shares, so your customers can own a part of the world’s biggest companies.

Company shares also provide:

  • Recipient choice for socially responsible investing
  • Simple embedded payouts without complicated infrastructure
  • Long-lasting impact to keep your brand memorable and top of mind

Gift cards

Gift cards offer a valuable incentive to recipients across your global network. Runa’s fee-free system with a flexible API can help you do more with less, easily streamlining the distribution of cards without needing to send physical cards or codes.

You can use gift cards as an alternative to cash payouts and achieve:

  • Better customization — An increasing number of consumers say they are very or extremely interested in choosing a gift card from their favorite brand. This is easily done with Runa.
  • Better customization — An increasing number of consumers say they are very or extremely interested in choosing a gift card from their favorite brand. This is easily done with Runa.
  • Higher ROI — Since gift card disbursements through Runa do not come with fees, you can easily access discounts with our team and turn your payouts into a lower risk revenue stream.


The rise of alternative currencies like crypto have become more and more interesting to growing brands. If you’re tentative about getting started or nervous about what comes next, you can use platforms like Runa to increase payout reach while relying on alternatives to cash payouts.

Since you can fund in fiat currency and disburse in cryptocurrency, you don’t need to worry about handling, holding, or managing crypto yourself. Plus, our fee-free, code-free system can help you foster more loyalty with a new breed of digital consumers.

Additional benefits of using crypto as an alternative to cash include:

  • Sending payments faster than fiat currency.
  • Differentiating your brand from other competitors.
  • Settling with sellers, freelancers, or contractors requiring more than just cash.

Digital wallets

Sometimes referred to as e-wallets, digital wallets are virtual storage solutions for multiple kinds of digital value. You can use third-party aggregators to house gift cards, crypto, and even some forms of cash, then send and receive funds at your convenience — no banking information required.

Digital wallets are growing in popularity, and remain one of the most popular methods of mass global disbursements. Research shows more than 60% of the global population will use digital wallets by 2026, meaning organizations may need to pivot quickly to non-cash methods of disbursement.

With e-wallets, businesses can:

Why businesses need alternatives to cash payouts

Cash payouts are not always the most effective method of paying businesses, merchants, and employees. Alternative methods provide additional flexibility for growing brands, as well as a potentially smoother system depending on payout type.

You may need alternatives to cash payouts if:

  • You send many payouts overseas — Brands expanding their reach into global markets face a number of challenges when scaling new markets. Between foreign exchange rates and legal red tape, it can be difficult to facilitate traditional cash transfers without high fees and compliance concerns.
  • You have a limited budget Mass payouts in cash typically come with hefty fees and transfer costs. Using modern alternatives like shares or cryptocurrency can help brands reduce unnecessary overhead and maximize their company budgets.
  • You need faster payouts — Cash transfers can take up to five days or longer to reach a recipient’s account. However, alternatives to cash payouts can help businesses more effectively transfer digital value while preserving additional time and money. Sending gift cards, for example, can happen in real time, meaning you can transfer digital value without a long waiting period.

Keep in mind, this is not an exhaustive list of use cases for alternatives to cash payouts. If you are a growing organization looking to go global in today’s marketplace, alternatives are a must-have staple for steady, sustainable growth.

The benefits of using alternatives to cash payouts

There are many benefits available for businesses transitioning to cash alternatives. In addition to reaching international markets and enjoying additional security on each transaction, alternatives to cash payouts offer faster, cheaper transactions with the added benefit of recipient choice.

Let’s look at each of these in greater detail.

  • Expand to new markets You can use alternatives to cash payouts to facilitate seamless payouts for international audiences. If you work with a partner organization in a different country, for example, you can use cardless, cashless payments to instantly transfer value without unnecessary forex processes. Platforms like Runa accompany built-in compliance regulations to help brands easily navigate the changing international marketplace.
  • Additional security Cash payouts are typically prone to fraud and security breaches. Paying recipients with an alternative to cash, however, may help to mitigate threats for both payer and payee. Runa empowers brands to send mass payouts without collecting banking details. Plus, bank-level security provides added encryption for extra peace of mind.
  • Faster transactions Neither businesses nor their payout recipients can always afford to wait for cash transactions. Accounting for the generic settling period of three to five days, recipients may be left without funds while businesses are left scrambling to account for outbound cash flow. Using real-time cash alternatives provided by Runa, businesses can easily and instantly disburse funds from a single dashboard.
  • Recipient choice Cash payouts provide digital value to recipients in only one form: cash. This may restrict your recipients from choosing a value that works for them, or silo their option to just one or two choices. Switching to a payments alternative like Runa can help you offer more robust payout options for recipients to choose from, including cryptocurrency or gift cards from a preferred provider.
  • Avoid unnecessary fees Mass payouts in cash typically accompany transfer and conversion fees. Although it’s not always possible to eliminate all fees, it is possible to manage your overhead costs and reduce the amount of extras you have to pay. With Runa, you have access to a fee-free platform that only bills for what you use.

What else can you do with alternatives to cash payouts?

Adjusting your payouts system to accommodate modern alternatives can provide instantaneous benefits that continue long into the future. Using available tools can help you develop a more effective plan for the future and remain competitive, flexible, and top of mind for the recipients in your network.

As you look to the future of digital value transfers, you can use alternatives to cash payouts to achieve the following objectives:

Adjust for cross-border payments

A recent study found that more than  42% of respondents feel strongly that there will be an acceleration of cross-border payments, B2B payments, and instant cross-currency payments. Businesses unable to prepare for the coming shift may be left behind, especially as more and more companies build toward the future.

Prepare for cashless societies

Although the rise of a purely cashless society may be several decades away, more and more organizations are preparing their payout systems to accept alternatives to traditional cash transitions. Research indicates a  42% increase in global cashless payment volumes, a number that will only increase over time.

Advance towards real-time payments

Approximately  97% of global respondents  believe real-time transactions will become a staple of modern brands. This means it’s now essential to update your modern payment matrix with real-time cash alternatives designed to delight recipients. Implementing correctly also allows you to decrease risk and determine a more competitive landscape as you expand into potential markets.

How to integrate alternatives to cash payouts into your payments strategy

Growing brands cannot afford to reinvent the wheel — and developing a brand-new payments strategy to accommodate alternatives to cash payouts is not always a feasible task. For this reason, businesses need to look for ways to connect their existing payment methods to the digital value infrastructure of the future, including platforms like Runa.

Fortunately, this is not a difficult task.

You can integrate your payments system with Runa in five steps:

  1. Get a demo with our team to see our tools in action. You’re welcome to watch our quick start videos to get a better understanding of our platform. 
  2. Sign up for a free account and only pay for what you use. You’re never obligated to pay setup costs or activation fees.
  3. Load funds in more than 180+ countries to send to a billion recipients. You can use the Runa Portal to instantly send funds, or connect with the Runa API to build your own solution.
  4. Let recipients accept digital value transfers as gift cards, company shares, donations, subscriptions, cryptocurrency, and more. You can even automate the mass payout process to save more time and money in the future.
  5. Enjoy Runa’s 99% payout redemption rate and access to global support. No matter where you’re located, Runa can help you send mass payouts in cash alternatives at any time.

With Runa, the full integration and implementation of your payments platform takes approximately one to two weeks. Once you’ve connected your business tech stack and provided onboarding training to employees, you can begin making cashless disbursements to customers wherever they may be situated.

Using Runa to send alternatives to cash payouts

Runa is an  award-winning payments platform   helping businesses make regular disbursements using alternatives to cash payouts. We’ve been rated as one of the world’s leading payout networks by hundreds of global brands, and remain a pioneer in the digital value space for B2B brands and enterprises.

Our digital value infrastructure makes it easy for brands of all sizes to effortlessly scale their disbursements with unique cash-like payouts for dozens of possible scenarios. From gift cards and cryptocurrency to shares and donations, we provide more than 1,300 payment types to over a billion recipients in 30 countries.

Businesses have used Runa to empower their payments process with dozens of ways to save time, money, and effort:

  • We’ve helped businesses save more than 20 million hours with an intuitive payment platform you can start using today for free.
  • We serve millions of recipients all over the world with built-in forex exchanges in more than 18 currencies and 16 languages.
  • For developers, we offer an easy-to-use API, so brands can create white label solutions for existing payment infrastructure.
  • We automate large-scale payouts to recipients all over the world with transparent pricing that only charges for platform usage.
  • We provide ways to upscale your existing discounts and refunds program to enhance recipient loyalty and reduce manual labor for your team.
  • We enable customers to cash out loyalty points or program rewards to turn any form of value into a tangible, real-world payout.

You can get started with Runa today by signing up for a free account. We never charge setup costs or activation fees — all you need to do is enter a few fields to start exploring our system immediately.

Ready to dig into the possibilities first? We invite you to  schedule a personalized demo. We offer multiple ways to integrate your system with Runa and explore alternatives to cash payouts at your leisure.