Help Centre Sending & receiving payments

What are account-to-account (A2A) payments?

An account-to-account (A2A) payment is a straightforward process allowing individuals or businesses to transfer money directly from one account to another. A2A payments empower payees to confidently move funds from their accounts to the service provider or merchant's bank account swiftly, efficiently, and at a lower cost.

What type of account-to-account payments can I make?

Businesses can use A2A in many different business scenarios, including:

  • Bill payments

  • Bank payments

  • Peer-to-peer payments

  • Direct debits

Whatever the form the payment takes, account-to-account payments can be grouped into two categories:

Push payments

These involve instant money transfers via online banking. Users can make one-off transfers to another bank account with a simple 'push' of a button. APIs can also trigger these transfers when banking services are integrated with payment gateways such as Stripe or PayPal.

Pull payments

Here, companies automatically withdraw money from a customer's bank account. This method covers subscriptions, direct debits, or recurring payments for services. Account owners must agree to the payment terms before automated payment requests are set up.

What is an example of an account-to-account payment?

Let's consider a scenario where a business owner, Sofia, needs to pay her supplier, Easy Electronics, for a shipment of computer components. Sofia decides to use an account-to-account payment method to settle the invoice.

Here's a step-by-step breakdown of the A2A payment process:

  1. Invoice generation: Easy Electronics sends an order invoice to Sofia detailing the amount due and any payment instructions.

  2. Payment initiation: Sarah sets up a bank transfer using Easy Electronics' account details and invoice reference number.

  3. Payment authorisation: Sofia reviews the account and payment details and approves the payment using her bank's preferred security checks.

  4. Payment processing: Sofia's bank processes the payment request and transfers the funds to Easy Electronics' account.

  5. Payment confirmation: Once the transfer is complete, Sofia and Easy Electronics receive confirmation from their banking providers.

This process may differ between financial institutions, so please check with your payment provider before making an A2A transfer.

What are the benefits of account-to-account payments?

Innovation over the last decade has witnessed significant enhancements in account-to-account payments, making them faster, more secure, and highly convenient for businesses and consumers.

Here are three reasons why A2A payments are becoming more popular:

1. Speed of payment

A2A payments are convenient and quick to process, so every party can pay more efficiently and get paid on time. In most cases, the recipient can access their funds before they've been fully debited from the sender's account.

2. Reduced transaction costs

As A2A payments are sent directly from one account to another, transaction costs are significantly or entirely removed, meaning businesses can maximise their margins on every transfer.

3. Worldwide payment capabilities

With almost every business and customer owning a bank account and greater global banking connectivity, A2A payments can be sent anywhere by pretty much everyone.

Are account-to-account payments safe?

A2A payments can be considered safe for businesses as the transfer occurs directly between banking providers. However, businesses need to remain cautious when executing A2A payments, verifying the recipient's identity and ensuring the accuracy of payment details.

Are account-to-account payments safe?

Account-to-account payments can be safe for businesses because they involve the transfer of funds directly between bank accounts without the need for a third-party payment processor. This can reduce the risk of fraud and errors that can occur when using other payment methods. Additionally, many banks have robust security measures in place to protect account information and prevent unauthorised access.

However, businesses should still exercise caution when making account-to-account payments and take steps to verify the identity of the recipient and ensure the accuracy of payment details.

Elevate your business payments with 3S Money

A2A payments are a quick and convenient way for businesses to streamline payment processes. Whether it be enhanced security, reduced costs, or simply speed - it’s evident why many companies are incorporating A2A payments into their payment structures.

Are you interested in levelling up your business’s payment structure? Here's how a 3S Money International Business Account can help:

  • Local EU and UK IBANs in your company name.

  • Send & receive payments worldwide.

  • Access to 65+ currencies at competitive exchange rates.

  • Work with a dedicated Client Manager.

  • Business owners from accepted from 190+ countries & territories.

You can check your eligibility for free and get pre-approved for in under 15 minutes.