Last Updated on April 29, 2023
Melio and Plastiq are two of the top digital payment systems on the market today.
If you are a business owner looking to cut down on time and money spent on accounts payable and receivable processes, then you should consider implementing one of these two tools.
Both of those platforms are similar in their functionality, but they differ in a few key ways.
In this article, I will put Melio and Plastiq head-to-head – Melio vs Plastiq, and they’ll fight it out for the “Champion” status.
I’ll explain both what they have in common, as well as what sets them apart, so that you can come away more educated for your decision of which one fits you and your business better.
Ding ding ding, let’s get ready to rumble!
This is a heavyweight matchup of the highest degree in the digital payments world, and Melio comes out on top.
Despite being very similar in functionality, with the ability to pay and get paid using various different methods, there are some key distinctions that set Melio apart.
Plastiq beat themselves. They charge a fee for debit transactions, whereas Melio offers them for free, and, Melio offers the ability for businesses to take on transaction fees from customers while Plastiq compels customers to pay.
With all else being relatively equal, Melio is my recommendation.
From the mountain top view, Melio and Plastiq are quite alike. It is in the nitty gritty details that they differ.
Generally speaking, Melio and Plastiq are both digital payment solutions for businesses. They allow their users to make and receive payments in a number of ways including bank transfers, debit and credit transactions, check, wire, or ACH.
The price to use each tool is quite similar, too. Both tools are virtually free to use. Neither solution charges any sign up fee or subscription fee, and they don’t charge anything to increase the number of bills you have, the number of transactions that occur, or the number of users.
There is one small discrepancy between their respective pricing models, and we’ll touch on that below in the differences section.
One critical issue that businesses face is that their suppliers or vendors want to be paid in one way, but they want to pay in another. For example, a vendor wants to be paid by wire transfer but the business wants to pay by credit. Both Melio and Plastiq offer a common solution to this problem. Both solutions provide a conversion service of sorts, which, as per the previous example, will accept credit from the business but supply the wire transfer to the vendor.
Again, the Melio vs Plastiq matchup is a close one. Both tools offer similar services, and the devil is in the details.
We’ve analyzed the similarities of both tools, now let’s take a look at the differences; the criteria you’ll need to make an informed decision.
You have to look closely to determine what differs between these tools. But, if you look long and hard enough, you will find some crucial distinctions.
Let’s start with the most pressing differences between the two tools, which happen to be price specific. One difference is glaring, the other are more subtle; in the fine print, if you will.
There is an obvious yet slight difference in the pricing models of Melio and Plastiq. As stated above in the similarities section, both models have a lot in common. They are both practically free to avail of with no sign up fee and no monthly subscription rate. However, they both charge a fee for a particular type of transaction, and this is where the variance lives.
Both Melio and Plastiq charge a transaction fee for credit card transactions within their tool. Whether you, as a business, pay your suppliers or vendors with credit, or you receive payment from a customer, these transactions come with a price.
Melio charges 2.9% per credit card transaction and Plastiq charges 2.85%.
This is a subtle difference of 0.05%, but knowing the importance of every penny for business owners, small business owners especially, this may be significant.
Furthermore, and maybe more significant, Plastiq also charges the same fee for debit transactions. This is a major difference between the two tools, and may be a major point to consider for your decision.
Lastly with respect to pricing, and maybe most importantly, there is a difference that may affect your relationship with your customer, for better or worse.
As mentioned before, both tools charge a fee for credit card transactions, including payments to vendors and from customers. With Melio, you can decide, as a business owner, and with the interest of your customers in mind, whether you or your customer takes on that fee. With Plastiq, there is no choice – your customer will be charged each time they pay you with a credit card.
In my opinion, despite the slightly lower fee that Plastiq charges for credit card transactions, Melio wins this round. The scales are tipped in Melio’s favour because Plastiq also charges for debit transactions, and because they do not offer businesses the option of taking that cost off the hands of their customer.
Depending on the type of business that you’re running, this category could either be a benefit or disservice.
Plastiq offers global payments, which allows you to pay for products or services in 40+ countries and 20+ foreign currencies, with “some of the best exchange rates anywhere.”
If you’re a company doing international business, then this may be important to you.
However, if you’re a small business in the US, then the ability to make payments to companies overseas is of no use. In actual fact, it would be a disservice for you to avail of the global payments from Plastiq because you would have to swallow the debit card transaction fees and lack of ability to take on transaction fees from your customers all for a feature that you don’t need.
Because it depends on the type of business that you’re in, there is no clear winner of this round. We’ll call it a wash.
Ultimately, if I had to choose, I will recommend Melio over Plastiq.
Each tool may have some functionality that would favour one business type over another, but if we consider those topics a wash, then we’re left with the difference in pricing, which Melio wins outright.
It’s a big deal for Melio not to charge for an entire category of transactions (debit) and to give businesses the option of taking on cost from customers, and that is why Melio wins the Melio vs Plastiq heavyweight bout.