Merchants may pay recurring bills using a portion of their payment card settlement funds through PayFast, a service Integrity Payment Systems LLC launched earlier this month.

PayFast is designed to give merchants better control over their cash flow by automating some of their bill payments, Bill Buchanan, director of marketing at the Des Plaines, Ill.-based merchant-services company, tells ISO&Agent Weekly.

Merchants may use PayFast to pay rent, utility bills and suppliers; one merchant even uses it to pay a debt held by a collection agency, Buchanan says. Auto-repair shops and restaurants are among the many types of merchants participating in the service, Buchanan says.

Integrity issues a check or pays the vendor via an automated clearinghouse payment, Buchanan says. Only merchants with a card-processing account at Integrity are eligible to use the service.

“The merchant doesn’t have to save up money to write checks at the end of the month,” he says.

An Integrity risk manager evaluates the percentage of daily card receivables a merchant may apply to PayFast. Integrity sets both a percentage and a daily cap for each time period, such as a month. When the total amount of the bill is paid, the payments stop until a new time period begins, Buchanan says. Merchants may set up multiple payments for different vendors.

Merchants receive online access to monitor their PayFast accounts, Integrity says. They pay an undisclosed fee to use PayFast that covers the cost of sending checks and making ACH payments.

Integrity’s sales agents also can resell PayFast.

Buchanan sees opportunities to use PayFast as a referral source for merchant accounts. For example, a commercial-property management company may tell its tenants it also accepts PayFast payments, which could prompt the tenant to enroll in the service.

“This would be a way to lower the risk for the management company,” Buchanan says. It also would mean a new merchant account for Integrity.

Smaller franchise firms also could entice their franchisees with a discount if they used PayFast to pay their franchise fees on a daily basis, he suggests.

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