How does it work?
Account-to-account payments are not for peer-to-peer bank transfers between private individuals. It is for businesses and organisations to use bank transfers as an alternative to card payments.
To set up A2A payments, a business goes to a payment company (e.g. GoCardless, Atoa, Brite) that offers it, signs up and activates the chosen payment method via a simple integration or custom API (Application Programming Interface) with the help of a developer.
The specific uses for A2A payments include:
- One-off transactions from consumer to business (via online payment page)
- Fast payouts from business to consumer
- Invoice payments
- International bank transfers
The exact process of A2A payments depends on the sales channel and type of transaction. In any case, the transaction is completed not by logging into a bank account, but through an automated, user-friendly security check via the payer’s banking app.
For example, you can initiate A2A transactions for one-off payments in an online store or shopping app. This may require the user to enter their bank account number and sort code before authenticating the transaction via their banking app – if the banking app doesn’t allow you to just select the bank account without entering these details manually.
Instead of customers navigating to a website or app, they could also be sent a link to the payment page or click a URL on a digital invoice allowing them to pay the invoice total online.