Plastiq Offers Way to Conserve Cash in Uncertain Economy

Jill Jaracz
April 1, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected Americans in more ways than just their health and well-being. Many individuals have suddenly lost their jobs. Small and medium businesses (SMBs) that governments have deemed non-essential have been shuttered until further notice. Even stores and restaurants that are open may have had to curtail their services significantly to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

That said, even though people and SMBs' financial situations may have ground to a halt, the bills haven't. If you're one of the many who fall into this category and don't know how you're going to make ends meet in the immediate future, Plastiq may be able to you them buy a little more time when it comes to paying your bills.

Plastiq allows people and business to pay anyone with a credit card, even if that person or business doesn't accept credit. From a Plastiq account, you type in who you want to pay and how much to pay them. Then you can choose one of three ways they will receive the payment. The first is an ACH bank transfer, which directly deposits into the recipient's bank account. The second is via wire transfer, and third is a check sent through the mail. Recipients don't have to pay anything in order to accept the payment.

Each option takes varying amounts of time, from as fast as same day for some wire transfers, to up to eight business days for checks. Plastiq does offer expedited options for a fee, which varies depending on the payment option.

Besides being able to pay entities like landlords, schools and utility providers with a credit card, if you use a rewards card, you can also earn rewards, and those can really add up in your favor.

Regardless, when you use Plastiq, you pay a 2.5% service fee for every payment you make. That means for every $100 in payments, you'll pay $2.50. For every $1000, that's $25 in fees.

During the pandemic, if you're waiting for unemployment, the stimulus check, grants or loans to kick in, Plastiq can help you float those bills on a credit card for a few weeks. This could be vital to you being able to stay above water financially in the immediate future until you get a new job, receive your benefits or your business reopens.

While this option can be a lifeline, it's important to keep in mind how much you'll pay Plastiq in processing fees. On top of that, you have to remember that you really haven't paid the bill; you just now owe your credit card company the money. If you can't pay off that credit card bill when it's due, you'll end up paying your credit card company interest as well, and that could be even more costly depending on your interest rate.

Plastiq also plans on adding additional features for SMBs, as it's closed a $75 million round of Series D funding.

"SMBs are the lifeblood of our economy, and in light of the economic uncertainty, now more than ever they will need innovative ways to maximize their working capital and protect cash reserves," said Eliot Buchanan, CEO and co-founder of Plastiq, in a statement. "We have also made a number of strategic industry hires that well-position Plastiq to rapidly scale as we continue our mission to champion the underserved SMB segment through this time of economic uncertainty. We will leverage this funding to equip SMBs with expanded payment options that enable them to efficiently maximize profits and cash reserves through the use of our intelligent, automated payments platform."

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