Never has the mass payouts process been more of an opportunity for businesses of all sizes. Cross-border payments have only continued to grow in number, although 75% of small business owners say they are dissatisfied with their options to transmit international funds. Coupled with tightened company budgets and the challenge of inflation, businesses must be vigilant to select a cost-effective method to send money to large groups of recipients.
Thankfully, manual mass payouts and resource-heavy transfer practices are no longer the norm for scaling brands. The use of a mass payment system can help growing businesses manage outgoing obligations as well as their company budgets.
This article explores how you can use digital infrastructure to make mass payouts all over the world. After explaining mass payment systems and defining their different types, we also dive into the benefits and features you should look for in your system.
Let’s begin with a simple definition:
- What are mass payments?
- What is a mass payment system?
- Why do companies need a mass payment system?
- What are the benefits of a mass payment system?
- Types of mass payment systems
What are mass payments?
Mass payments are bulk transfers of money from one party to another. Although it typically involves sending money to customers, it can also support global disbursements for employees, especially if you manage a distributed workforce.
There’s no set number that defines a ‘mass payment’ in business, but any debit sent to multiple recipients is typically defined as a ‘bulk’ transfer. Although you’re sending large amounts of money to multiple destinations, the debits group together as a single listing on your monthly statement, which helps you keep track of both amounts and recipients.
It’s still possible to send mass payments through dated manual methods. However, the use of an efficient mass payment system is the most effective way to send digital value at scale.
What is a mass payment system?
A mass payment system is a type of digital value infrastructure designed to send mass payouts to recipients all over the world. The best platforms offer built-in features for businesses of any size, including competitive forex conversions and data-rich reporting tools.
Mass payment systems provide a simpler solution to traditional methods of mass payouts, which historically came with several caveats and posed a gigantic undertaking to global brands. Businesses needed to send individual transfers to recipients while checking over numbers to account for human error. Mistakes were both costly and extremely impactful, potentially slowing down disbursements and tying up business cash flow.
Today, businesses rely on mass payment systems to manage bulk transfers with fewer considerations. HR professionals can use modernized platforms to automatically exchange foreign currency while avoiding accidental noncompliance or expensive human error.
Why do companies need a mass payment system?
There are three primary reasons companies turn to mass payment systems: remote work, globalized commerce, and specific business tasks.
Let’s look at each of these in greater detail.
1. A growing remote workforce
Studies show more than 40% of the workforce in industrialized countries perform labor remotely, with a large percentage likely to remain remote on a permanent basis. Businesses with distributed or globalized workforces need mass payout solutions to engage employees, freelancers, and contractors effectively.
2. Globalized commerce
More and more businesses are looking to expand to audiences outside their country of origin. With more than 72% of small businesses planning to expand their international presence in 2017, the opportunity to capitalize in separate markets has only continued to grow.
You can use a mass payment system to seamlessly scale your payment process outside your domestic location. Using a platform like Runa can help you instantly convert funds into 18 currencies and have them sent to 30 different countries.
3. Specific business tasks
Mass payouts are a more effective method of performing critical business tasks. Using the right payment platform, you can easily submit refunds to customers, issue digital value to employees, or manage shares, donations, or subscriptions on the same simplistic interface.
Runa allows you to automate many types of mass payout processes, including:
- Rewards and recognition payouts
- Incentives and rebates
- Program cashout and gifting
What are the benefits of a mass payment system?
Mass payment systems provide a simple and effective way of sending to large numbers of recipients. Mass payment systems offer benefits that include:
Smaller margin of error
Human error is an inevitability in the payment process. That said, the use of a mass payment system can help you reduce potential touchpoints for error to a much more manageable margin. With Runa, you can automate much of the mass payout process and greatly reduce the likelihood of making a costly misstep.
Many mass payout alternatives require you to pay fees for each separate transaction. The use of a mass payout platform can provide a more cost-effective option by providing use-based fee tiers based on a single transaction. Mass payout systems like Runa only charge for what you use, helping you spend less and save more on every disbursement.
Most mass payout processes take multiple days to clear accounts. With the use of a mass payout system, however, you can instantly transfer money to recipients and get real-time data immediately after sending. Runa’s real-time mass payout system can delight your customers and impress your employees.
With more and more security concerns around the payment process, traditional methods of performing mass payments may create unnecessary risks. Acquiring a mass payment system with bank-level security provides additional encryption during mass disbursement events — potentially saving your brand from costly data breaches and the loss of customer trust.
Adaptable and manageable
The best mass payout systems offer plenty of flexibility for growing brands. If you can’t rely on a pre-built platform to send money to recipients, you can use a powerful API to integrate the system with your existing payment platform. Runa’s API was specifically designed for B2B organizations looking for more effective ways to transfer digital value.
Types of mass payment systems
There are many different types of mass payment systems to choose from. Modern businesses tend to use one of three options: bank transfers, third-party platforms, and bulk card payments.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
1. Bank transfers
Sometimes referred to as Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfers, bank transfers allow your business to send money to or from specific accounts. ACH is an excellent option for US-based payments, but far less viable for international mass payouts.
Bank transfer pros
- You can send ACH transfers to almost anywhere in the US, making it one of the most well-accepted payment systems for domestic mass payouts.
- Bank transfers are typically more secure than wire transfers and accompany fewer fees.
- ACH transfers allow you to automate recurring payments and save more time for other tasks.
Bank transfer cons
- You cannot make ACH transfers outside the US, which means you need to find a different method of making international mass payouts.
- Bank transfers do not happen automatically and do not occur instantaneously.
- Some banks impose limits on the amount of money you can send through ACH transfers, which could stop your business from making mass payouts or rack up fees and penalties.
2. Third-party payment aggregators
Third-party payment aggregators can help you quickly disburse funds if you don’t have a payment processor or mass distribution system. It may be easy to learn the system and connect recipients with a bulk payout list, but the high fees and third-party nature of these platforms may invite unnecessary risks.
Payment aggregator pros
- Payment aggregators are typically easy to use and well-known by most consumers, and usually don’t require lengthy adoption times.
- You can send international payouts from your business to multiple customers at the same time.
- You can rely on built-in third-party security features to help protect your payouts from fraud (although keep in mind these aren’t guaranteed).
Payment aggregator cons
- Payment aggregators typically impose stiff fees and rarely charge usage-only rates.
- Converting one currency to another may include additional fees, some of which cost more than manually converting the funds yourself.
- Mass payouts deposit funds into the customer’s third-party account rather than their bank account, which may invite unnecessary risk.
3. Bulk card payments
It’s sometimes possible to send mass payouts directly to your recipient’s bank cards. Although this does provide a more streamlined method of performing mass payouts, it may also be complex and difficult to manage.
Bulk card payment pros
- Sending money to a customer’s bank card is a great way to handle refunds at scale.
- If you’re an ecommerce company, you can use card information already on hand to perform mass payouts quickly.
- Sending funds to a debit card is typically just as secure as sending funds to a bank account.
Bulk card payment cons
- Sending mass payouts to a customer’s bank card can be complicated, especially since the amount returned cannot be greater than the amount spent.
- The United States, among other countries, restricts the transfer of funds to certain prepaid debit cards.
- Bulk card payments do not always arrive instantaneously.
The fourth option: using Runa as your mass payment system
When it comes to selecting a mass payment system, modern businesses are mostly spoiled for choice. There are hundreds of different options available on the market, and dozens of different methods depending on specific needs. That said, not all platforms are built alike — and if you’re looking for a mass payment system that provides a low-cost, high-efficiency pathway of sending funds, Runa is the platform you’re looking for.
Runa is a system of digital value infrastructures built to manage mass payouts made all over the world. You can use our out-of-the-box Runa Portal to instantly make mass payments to customers. Alternatively, you can use the Runa API to develop intuitive interfaces in your existing apps.
There are only a few steps required to use Runa as your mass payment system:
1. Sign up for a free account
Runa only charges fees according to how much you use the platform. We don’t charge any setup fees or onboarding costs — you only pay for what you use.
After you sign up, you can access more than a billion consumers in more than 30 different countries. Since you can fund your account from more than 190 countries, you can easily load money into Runa wherever you happen to be.
Not ready to set up an account yet? You can request a free one-on-one demo to see how Runa works in action.
2. Load your money into Runa
With your new account ready and funds loaded into the system, you can set up mass payouts in just a couple of clicks.
If you’re using the Runa Portal, you can create automated payouts that instantly show up in customer’s accounts. You can also opt to use the Runa API, which comes with one hour to one day onboarding time and plenty of developer documentation.
Since the Runa platform comes with built-in forex capabilities, you can easily fund your account in one currency and disburse it in another, which potentially saves both time and money with automated processes and competitive rates.
3. Recipients accept their payouts
Mass payouts in Runa come with the gift of recipient choice. All recipients, including customers and employees, can select the type of payment they want to convert your digital value into. Runa currently supports more than 1,300 different payout types, including:
- Gift cards
- Prepaid cards
Curious to dig deeper into the data of your mass payouts? You can quickly track the details using Runa’s real-time data dashboards. By looking into how recipients redeem their payouts and evaluating popular options, you can get data-driven insights to make informed decisions to optimize your mass payouts process in the future.
See why Runa is the mass payment system of choice for hundreds of businesses worldwide. You’re invited to explore the Runa platform for yourself by signing up for a free account today or request a demo. You can see all the features we use to make mass payouts accessible to today’s growing brands. Then, when you’re ready to learn more, you can request support from our global help desk.