Payment Systems

What Are Push-To-Card Payments? 

Push-To-Card Payments Explained - AptPay Blog

Push-to-card payments, also known as “card push” payments or “original credit transaction” (OCT), refer to a type of Account-to-Account (A2A) payment where funds are transferred directly to a recipient’s bank account via a debit card.  

This method is commonly used for disbursing funds quickly and efficiently, such as in refunds, rewards, or gig economy payouts. 

Push-to-card payments are facilitated by Mastercard and Visa. The card networks utilize their payment gateways such as Visa Direct and Mastercard Send. These near-real-time gateways have transformed the payment process from taking days to being almost instantaneous. 


Key Takeaways 

  1. Instantaneous Payments: Push-to-card payments enable nearly instant transfers directly to debit, ideal for fast disbursements like refunds or gig economy payouts. 
  2. Global Security: Visa Direct and Mastercard Send offer secure, global transaction capabilities with built-in fraud prevention. 
  3. Versatile Applications: These payments are widely used across various sectors for immediate fund transfers, boosting efficiency and satisfaction. 
  4. Implementation Needs: Businesses must select compliant providers like AptPay for integration, ensuring adherence to a myriad of regulatory and compliance requirements including security standards like PCI DSS. 
  5. Operational Benefits: Push-to-card payments reduce processing costs and provide recipients with immediate, secure access to funds, promoting financial inclusion. 


Mastercard Send and Visa Direct Explained 

Building on the momentum of fintech advancements, let’s take a closer look at two pivotal platforms paving the way for real-time financial transactions – Mastercard Send and Visa Direct.  

These two platforms have redefined the landscape for push payments, providing an agile and robust framework for instantaneous money transfers. 

What is Visa Direct? 

Visa Direct is a payment gateway that enables fast, secure, and convenient digital payments directly to Visa debit cards. The service is built on Visa’s global network, which connects millions of accounts worldwide.  

With the capability to reach over 8.5 billion endpoints, including more than 3 billion cards and 2.5 billion digital wallets, Visa Direct facilitates a wide array of financial transactions across diverse platforms and regions. 

This platform is particularly beneficial for businesses and financial institutions looking to enhance their payment systems to support real-time disbursements and transfers. 

It’s not just about speed, but also the convenience and security that make Visa Direct a game-changer in the financial world. 

What is Mastercard Send? 

Mastercard Send enables digital and near real-time payments directly into any bank account across North America. The funds are instantly available and accessible in the payee’s bank account 24/7/365. Mastercard Send is a safe, secure, and simple solution for faster pay-outs, and to provide an improved internal or external experience. 

This service supports a broad range of applications, from individual remittances to large-scale business disbursements, making it particularly effective for businesses and organizations looking to enhance their payment processes with real-time capabilities. 

As a global digital payment service, Mastercard Send allows you to push funds directly to virtually all debit and/or prepaid, and even bank accounts.  

It’s not just about sending money, but about providing a seamless and secure transaction experience. 

What is Interac e-transfer? 

Interac e-Transfer is a popular electronic payment service used in Canada that allows individuals and businesses to send and receive money directly between bank accounts using an email address or mobile phone number.  

It is widely used for its convenience, speed, and security. Interac e-Transfer is supported by most Canadian banks and credit unions, making it a ubiquitous tool for digital transactions within Canada. 

While Interac e-Transfer is not a push-to-card service, it complements such services by providing another quick and secure digital payment method.  

Here’s how it interacts with the push-to-card ecosystem: 

  1. Different Payment Rails: Unlike push-to-card services like Visa Direct or Mastercard Send, which directly deposit funds to a bank account via a debit card proxy, Interac e-Transfer sends money directly to bank accounts. However, both services are designed to improve the speed and ease of sending money electronically. 
  1. Use in Conjunction: In systems with push-to-card options, Interac e-Transfer can serve as an alternative or an additional option for users who prefer bank transfers over card deposits. This is particularly useful in scenarios where recipients might not have or prefer not to use a card. 
  1. Domestic Focus: While push-to-card services often have international capabilities, Interac e-Transfer is primarily used within Canada. Its role in the domestic market complements the more global nature of push-to-card services, providing users with a reliable and secure method of making transfers within the country. 


Benefits of Push-To-Card Payments 

Push-to-card payments offer several significant benefits that make them an attractive option for both businesses and consumers.  

Here are some of the key advantages: 

  1. Speed: Push-to-card payments are processed almost instantly, allowing recipients to access funds within minutes. This is a substantial improvement over traditional methods like bank transfers or checks, which can take several days to clear. 
  2. Convenience: With push-to-card payments, funds are deposited directly into recipients’ card accounts, which they can then use immediately for purchases, bill payments, or ATM withdrawals. This eliminates the need for recipients to physically deposit a check or visit a bank. 
  3. Reduced Costs: For businesses, push-to-card payments can reduce the costs associated with issuing and processing checks. This includes materials, postage, and administrative efforts related to handling, tracking, and reconciling paper checks. 
  4. Security: These payments are typically more secure than traditional checks, which can be lost, stolen, or forged. Push-to-card utilizes the security infrastructure of major card networks, which includes fraud detection and prevention mechanisms. 
  5. Financial Inclusion: Push-to-card payments can be particularly beneficial for recipients who do not have traditional bank accounts but do have a debit or prepaid card. This enhances financial inclusion by enabling access to digital payments. 
  6. Streamlined Operations: For businesses, integrating push-to-card payments can streamline operations by automating the disbursement process, reducing manual workload, and minimizing errors associated with manual processing. 
  7. Enhanced Customer Experience: By providing instant access to funds, businesses can improve satisfaction and loyalty among customers, contractors, and employees, enhancing the overall experience. 

Table summarizing the benefits of push-to-card payments for both businesses and consumers:  

Use Cases for Push-To-Card Payments 

Push-to-card payments are versatile and can be used in a variety of scenarios across different sectors.  

Here are some common use cases for push-to-card payments: 

  1. Gig Economy Disbursements: Many gig economy platforms utilize push-to-card payments to pay freelancers, drivers, and other contractors immediately after they complete a job, improving cash flow for these workers and enhancing their satisfaction and loyalty. 
  2. Gaming Platforms: Instant winnings can be transferred to users, keeping them engaged and incentivized to keep playing. 
  3. Insurance Claim Payouts: Insurance companies can use push-to-card payments to disburse claims quickly and efficiently. This rapid transfer of funds can significantly improve customer experience during stressful times, such as after an accident or natural disaster. 
  4. Refunds and Rebates: Retailers and service providers can issue refunds directly to a customer’s card, speeding up the return process and enhancing customer satisfaction. 
  5. Consumer Incentives and Rewards: Companies can issue instant rewards and incentives directly to a consumer’s card, which is an effective way to enhance engagement and loyalty. 
  6. Emergency Funds: In emergency situations where immediate financial assistance is required, push-to-card payments allow organizations to quickly send funds to those in need. 


How Can My Business Send Push to Card Payments?

To implement push-to-card payments for your business, you’ll need to follow several steps to ensure the system is set up correctly and efficiently.  

Here’s a detailed guide on how to get started: 

  1. Choose a Payment Provider: While Visa and Mastercard facilitate the infrastructure for push-to-card payments, they typically do not provide these services directly to businesses or consumers due to the high volume of transactions required and the complexities involved. Businesses often need to process millions of transactions annually to qualify for direct integration. Moreover, technical resource limitations, regulatory hurdles, and the substantial costs associated with implementing and managing such programs can be prohibitive for many businesses. Instead, these card networks work through a network of partners, including banks, financial institutions, and payment service providers. Partnering with companies like AptPay allows businesses to leverage their scale of transactions and expertise, facilitating a more cost-effective and manageable integration into their payment systems. Speak to one of the Fintech Specialists today! 
  2. Integration Process: Work with your chosen provider to integrate their service into your existing payment infrastructure. This typically involves a technical setup where you might need to use APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) provided by the payment processor. These APIs allow your systems to communicate directly with the payment network to initiate and manage payments. 
  3. Compliance and Security: Ensure that your solution complies with all relevant regulations and security standards, such as PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard). This is crucial to protect sensitive cardholder data and to prevent fraud. AptPay’s compliance is recognized as top-notch, being one of the most robust in the market. This level of compliance ensures that transactions are secure and adhere strictly to the highest industry standards, including the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This commitment to security and compliance makes AptPay a reliable choice for businesses looking to implement push-to-card payments. 
  4. Set Up User Authentication and Verification: Implement robust authentication and verification processes to ensure that payments are sent to the correct recipient. This might involve verifying card numbers or other account verification services and ensuring that all transactions are authorized by the sender. AptPay offers robust account verification services, which are essential for setting up user authentication and verification processes. This ensures that payments are accurately sent to the correct recipient. Their services include verifying bank accounts or card numbers (Apt-AVS) and confirming that all transactions are authorized by the sender. This level of verification is crucial for maintaining the security and integrity of financial transactions. 
  5. Testing: Before going live, thoroughly test the system with your provider to ensure everything works as expected. This should include testing for different payment scenarios, error handling, and transaction speed. 
  6. Educate Your Staff and Customers: Make sure your team understands how to use the new system and can troubleshoot common issues. Additionally, inform your customers about the new payment option, how it works, and its benefits. 
  7. Launch and Monitor: Once everything is set up and tested, launch the push-to-card functionality. Monitor the transactions and user feedback closely, especially in the initial phases, to quickly resolve any issues that might arise. 
  8. Ongoing Support and Updates: Maintain a relationship with your payment provider for ongoing support and to receive updates about enhancements or changes in compliance requirements that could affect your payment processing. 


Essential Technical Information  

The technical integration process involves setting up API connections, ensuring secure data transmission, and handling error responses.  

It demands a good understanding of your business’s technical capabilities and the specific requirements of Visa Direct and Mastercard Send.  

This integration ultimately empowers you to offer faster, more convenient payments to your customers or employees.  

Integrating AptPay API into your business processes can revolutionize your transactions, delivering quick, efficient, and secure payments.  

This can help your business to capitalize on the advantages of push-to-card payments. AptPay API integration is designed to boost your business efficiency by enabling real-time transactions, thereby eliminating the sluggish traditional banking methods. 

With AptPay API integration, you’ll enjoy seamless transactions.  

The process is straightforward and user-friendly, requiring minimal technical know-how. This means you can focus on what matters most – running your business – while AptPay takes care of the complex payment processes. 

Another important benefit of AptPay API integration is the high level of security it offers. Today’s digital landscape is fraught with potential security risks, and AptPay has addressed this concern with robust safety measures.  

This ensures that your business’s financial transactions remain secure, giving you peace of mind. 

Lastly, AptPay API integration allows for easy scalability.  

As your business grows, your payment processing needs will evolve. AptPay API integration is designed to grow with your business, ensuring that your payment processing capabilities can always match your business’s demands.  


Streamline your payments effortlessly with AptPay. Pay employees, settle supplier invoices, and access billions of endpoints with one integrated solution. 

Start sending funds to cardholders using the AptPay API. 


Tags: Interac e-transfer, Mastercard Send, Push-to-card, Visa Direct