Bank payouts vs. card payouts

There are two main ways of making a payout: directly to the payee’s bank, or to a debit or prepaid payment card they have access to.

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December 5, 2023
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Bank payouts vs. card payouts

Whether you need to pay suppliers, staff, or service providers, payouts are a fast, effective way of ensuring your money goes from A to B – without any hang-ups or headaches along the way.

There are two main ways of making a payout: directly to the payee’s bank, or to a debit or prepaid payment card they have access to. Below, we’ll explain what bank payouts and card payouts are, and how they differ – then explain how can empower your business to make quick, seamless payouts of both varieties. 

What is a payout?

A payout refers to the distribution or disbursement of funds from one party to another.

Typically, payouts involve a business or platform transferring money to its customers, partners, vendors, suppliers, or service providers. Payouts could, for instance, involve a business paying its affiliate partners commission for driving incoming traffic or sales; or distributing salaries, bonuses, or other forms of compensation to its staff.

Payouts can be made in large numbers, simultaneously, to make the payout process simple and hassle-free. These are known as mass payouts; or ‘batch’ or ‘bulk’ payments.

What is a bank payout?

A bank payout simply refers to a payout made to the bank account of an individual or business.

In a bank payout, the payer initiates the transaction by providing the recipient’s bank account details, such as the account number and routing information. (This can include data like an ACH routing number or, in the case of cross-border payouts, an IBAN; it depends on the nature of the bank payout, and in which countries money is changing hands.) Then, the funds are electronically credited to the recipient’s bank account, and debited from the sender’s.

Bank payouts are common for paying salaries and vendors, processing refunds, and making general disbursements.

What is a card payout?

Card payouts involve transferring funds directly to the recipient’s payment card – such as a debit card or prepaid card – rather than to their bank account.

To initiate a card payout, the payer needs information relevant to the recipient’s card: including the account holder name, plus the card’s primary account number (PAN) and expiration date. Once the funds arrive, they’ll be debited from the sender’s account, and – in the case of instant payouts, at least – be immediately accessible for the cardholder to spend.

Card payouts tend to be used in refunds, to offer incentive payments or cashback on purchases, or when the recipient may not have a traditional bank account. However, there are ever-expanding use cases today given the proliferation of ecommerce and digital transaction types. For instance, Apple Pay card payouts can facilitate disbursements for successful insurance claims, mobile gaming winnings or investment platform withdrawals.

How payouts work at

Here at, we allow your business to make both bank and card payouts – without any extra integrations, and to wherever you need your money to go.

With us, you can send payouts to more than 170 countries, and in over 100 local currencies – allowing you to tap into modular, transparent foreign exchange rates to drive down costs and deliver local, loyalty-building customer experiences at scale. You’ll also get all the optimized data you need to understand the delivery and success of each payout you make – whether domestic or international – while automating fee reconciliation and cutting down on admin.

Sound exciting? Learn more about’s payouts solution for growing businesses, or reach out to our team of payout experts today to find out how we can support you.

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December 5, 2023 11:04
December 5, 2023 11:04