What is it?

A single-use card is a type of a virtual credit card which has become a common payout method for Account Payable solutions, meaning, services like Melio where you pay your bills.

Why use a single-use card?

Because single-use cards are:

  • Fast - Can be processed immediately after the payment is processed.

  • Secure - Bank account details are not shared. Also, the card is specific for a single invoice and exact amount.

  • Efficient - Processing is automatic 24/7 and independent of banking working hours.

  • Easier to reconcile - Cards are sent with full remittance data - amount, payor and invoice details.

  • Have a known settlement timeframe

To learn more about the differences between single-use cards and other delivery methods, read this article.

Melio’s single-use card

Melio’s single-use card is issued by J.P. Morgan. It has some specific characteristics:

  • A unique 16-digit digital card number.

  • Each card is issued for a specified amount to pay a single supplier invoice.

  • It can only be used once.

  • It expires 30 days after the payment is processed.

  • No physical card is involved, no card numbers are stored.

  • It can be authorized and settled just like any other card through the existing machine you’re using to process credit card payments.

How does Melio’s single-use card work?

Let’s use an example: John is a wedding planner who wants to pay Amanda, his florist. Amanda signed up to receive her payments via Melio’s single-use card:

  1. John schedules a bill to pay.

  2. He pays with his preferred method, ACH in this case.

  3. When his payment is processed, a single-use card is automatically issued by J.P. Morgan. Melio then sends the card number to Amanda along with the remittance information.

  4. Amanda gets a payment notification email with the single-use card number. She enters the details into her card processing system just like a physical card or a card-not-present transaction.

This is what the email with Melio’s single-use card looks like:

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