Visa, Intuit Team Up to Provide Mobile Payments Level Access to Small Business
A Dilbert strip once illustrated the ultimate woe of small businesses. A small businessman—seen about 1 / 10 the size of the Pointy Haired Boss (PHB)—sat across the table from same, emphasizing how important it was to pay immediately. Because if he wasn’t paid immediately, he would go out of business. The small businessman then realized he had effectively told the PHB that, if the PHB simply waited long enough, the small businessman would be supplying an essentially free product. This demonstrates wonderfully how important cash flow is to a business, and a recently-announced team-up between Visa and Intuit looks to help on that front.
Visa tipped us off about this one, and the product of this team-up is known as Instant Deposit, a new tool set to be added to QuickBooks Payments by the end of the year that allows for real-time disbursements for small business owners.
Instant Deposit is built around a set of Visa tools—Visa Direct and VisaNet, particularly—that allow working capital to be deposited immediately into bank accounts with an eligible debit card connected therein. This works literally around the clock, so inconvenient and sporadically-celebrated holidays like recently-celebrated Columbus Day wouldn’t affect any part of Instant Deposit.
Such a move provides valuable help, especially to small businesses whose lifeblood is cash flow. One study noted that, for 66 percent of respondents, the time it takes to process money after receiving a payment is the biggest impact on the recipient’s cash flow. QuickBooks Payments, thanks to Instant Deposit and its underlying Visa tools, will speed up that process appreciably.
Cash flow and small businesses have long been at odds, since well before the days of that Dilbert strip mentioned earlier. If Instant Deposit works as advertised, it should increase the use of QuickBooks systems substantially thanks to a kind of internal mobile payments mechanism, one that will put cash in small businesses’ hands faster than ever. That improves the arrival of cash to small businesses and makes for more reliable flow as well, allowing businesses to better plan their ability to expand going forward.
Small businesses need cash—indeed, any size business does—to live. Visa and Intuit may have found a way to provide that vital need, and in the process, bring in some more for themselves in the process.