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Running a business is tough, and success often hinges on the most important responsibility that is managing accounts receivable (AR) and accounts payable (AP) effectively. Even if your products or services are excellent, problems can quickly arise if these processes aren’t streamlined. But don’t let that overwhelm you. 

This blog compares two modern payment solutions, Forwardly and Melio Payments, both designed for handling AR and AP. The objective is to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in choosing a service that suits their needs seamlessly, offering a balance of features, easy to use, cost-effectiveness and perhaps, a touch of innovation.  

The goal isn’t just to solve your problems; it’s to improve the entire financial workflow, ensuring smoother sailing in the choppy seas of your business operations. 

Forwardly vs. Melio Payments: What’s the difference?  

Enjoying Forwardly and Melio Payments without spending a penny each month is a great perk—they’re both free which means no subscription fees. Plus, both seamlessly integrate with popular accounting software such as QuickBooks Online and Xero, boasting dual sync capability; saving you time and from errors.  

When it comes to paying, Forwardly offers faster payment methods: instant payments and same-day ACH. You don’t need a wallet or a specific bank account for using Forwardly – a significant advantage considering many modern payment solutions require it for faster payments.  

Meanwhile, Melio Payments offers more flexibility, including bank transfers, paper checks, credit cards, and even international payments. However, it’s worth noting that Melio can be a bit challenging for customers because of varying payment speeds and processing fees for each payment method. To make it easier to understand, let’s break down the differences in a side-by-side comparison chart.

 

Comparison between Forwardly and Melio Payments

What makes Forwardly stand out? 

Instant payments 

Until December 2023, Forwardly stood alone as the exclusive real-time payment solution for small businesses in the United States, providing instant payments. Recognizing the challenges of delayed payments, Forwardly took the lead by offering instant payments from the outset, initially leveraging the RTP network. After the FedNow Service launched in July 2023, Forwardly joined both the RTP Network and FedNow Service for even faster payment transfers. Meanwhile, Melio has recently introduced instant payments through debit cards or bank transfers (ACH) which provides payors with the option to deliver funds instantly to their vendors.  

 

Always available, no strings attached

Forwardly’s instant payments work 24/7, all year round, even on holidays. But Melio’s instant payments are only available from Monday to Friday, between 2 am and 7 pm E.T. With Forwardly, there are no tricky conditions – you can get paid whenever and wherever. That’s a big advantage over Melio!

Speed 

Forwardly stands out by delivering instant payments in under 22 seconds, while Melio takes around 30 minutes. Melio offers different payment methods, but each comes with its own waiting game. ACH transfers can take up to three business days or more, and regular paper checks can take five to seven business days. Even if you speed things up with Melio, you’ll still be waiting until the next day for payments made after 2 p.m. (ET). 

Waiting for payments can harm a business’s financial health. Delayed payments have a damaging effect on businesses, with over a quarter of them admitting to struggling with accounts receivables tasks monthly. Forwardly excels in speed, enabling you to receive instant payments in just seconds, far outpacing Melio’s processing times. With Forwardly, you can enjoy the ease and efficiency of rapid transactions. 

Affordability 

Accounts payable 

Forwardly allows you to send instant payments at no cost. Melio offers instant payments at a 1.5% fee (maximum $50 per transaction), billed separately. If you opt for card payments with Melio, a 1.5% instant transfer fee is added on top of the 2.9% card processing fee.  

With Melio, you can send payments for free through bank transfers and sending checks via the US Postal Service (USPS). But there is a 2.9% fee for credit and debit card transfers, a 1% fee for same-day bank transfers, and a $20 fee for expedited check delivery and international USD transfers.  

Accounts receivable 

Forwardly stands out for its affordability, offering instant payments at a cost of only 1% (min $1, max $10 per transaction). Forwardly goes the extra mile by providing free same-day ACH transfers for users whose banks don’t support instant payments. This is an added benefit not found with Melio.  

Melio’s Same-day ACH bank transfers are charged at 1% of the transaction, up to a $30 ceiling, ACH-to-ACH bank transfers are free, Paper checks cost $1.5, with the first two checks each month being free, international payments cost $20 per transaction, and Credit card payments are charged at 2.9% of the transaction. Getting paid with Melio instant payments costs 1% fee which is to be paid by the vendor.  

For small businesses, every penny matters. With Forwardly, you could save up to 80% on processing fees, which might translate to up to $24,000 in savings. That’s a significant amount you can use for your business’s essential needs and growth. Forwardly ensures you are spending your money wisely and managing accounts receivable effectively.

Excellent support 

Forwardly’s support is ready to help, ensuring that your concerns are addressed promptly. You can raise tickets at the Forwardly support center if any aspect of the solution poses a challenge. 

On the flip side, Melio Payments lacks reliable support. Customers online frequently express dissatisfaction with unresolved issues, making the support experience less satisfactory compared to Forwardly.  

Better visibility 

With Forwardly, you can set your limits, ensuring better control over your money and smarter cash flow management. You’ll get instant notifications for payments, so you always know when they are sent, awaiting approval, or received.   

You can also have a clear view of your bank balance before making a bill payment at all times, ensuring you are in the know about your financial situation. And the best part? Forwardly facilitates swift, bank-agnostic transfers for immediate settlements and seamless reconciliation within seconds.  

Multiple businesses 

Forwardly streamlines business management by offering a single, user-friendly dashboard where you can effortlessly oversee multiple businesses. You have complete control over permissions, deciding who can access specific features. Plus, there’s no limit to the number of team members you can add, promoting a collaborative work environment. With Forwardly, managing and growing your businesses is simple and efficient. 

Start thinking Forwardly  

Handling AP and AR can be a challenging task, but Forwardly is here to simplify the process for you. We understand that transitioning to a new payment solution might seem like a big change, but the benefits are significant – not only in terms of saving money and time but also in ensuring a stress-free business environment. 

Our primary focus is to make your business operations more manageable and to streamline the payment process, making it easier for you to get paid promptly. Getting started with Forwardly is designed to be easy and user-friendly, providing you with the tools and support needed for a seamless transition. Let’s take a step forward together with Forwardly, where efficiency and ease meet in your business journey. 

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