Payability Review: Pricing, Features, Top Alternatives
Online lender Payability can be a useful service for business owners who need early payment from the e-commerce platforms they use. This fintech company offers two programs that let e-commerce marketplace sellers get cash well before they would have received money from their actual sales. There is a significant fee for this early access, but for those who need better cash flow and want to avoid credit checks, it could be worth the cost.
For our Payability review, we look at its range of programs, along with its fees and how it matches up against the competition.
How does Payability work?
Payability offers two main services for speeding up payment from e-commerce: Instant Advance and Instant Access. Instant Advance lets you borrow up to $250,000 against your future, expected sales. Instant Access lets you receive up to 80% of your previous day’s sales, so you aren’t stuck waiting on your e-commerce platform (eBay or Amazon, for example) for payment. Payability also offers a debit-card-like program, the Payability Seller Card, which we’ll cover in the next section.
|Instant Advance||75% to 150% of your monthly marketplace sales revenue, up to $250,000||No fixed term. Ongoing until you pay back the advance from future sales||0.50% - 1.00% per week of the advance||Remit 12% to 25% of your future sales until you’ve paid off the balance.|
|Instant Access||80% of each previous days’ sales||Ongoing until the client decides to stop. No fixed term. Must give 30 days notice to cancel.||Typically 2% of previous month’s gross sales. Possible discount for clients with $100,000 or more in sales||No repayment, not a loan|
The Instant Advance service lets you take an advance on your future sales to get money today. It’s a faster alternative to some small business loans. The Payability advance amount is typically between 75% to 150% of your average monthly marketplace sales revenue.
You pay back your advance with your future sales. Payability deducts between 12% to 25% of your e-commerce sales to get its money back. In addition, Payability charges a set weekly fee between 0.50% - 1.00% of your advance. If you took out $50,000 and had a 1% fee, you would owe $500 per week for the fee until your marketplace sales pay off the advance.
Payability does not charge an origination fee to launch the advance. Plus, when you take out an advance, Payability reviews your sales history to predict how long it will take you to pay them back — though if you can pay off the balance earlier, the company won’t charge you a penalty.
The Instant Access program lets you receive your e-commerce sales ahead of schedule. With e-commerce platforms, there can be a delay of days and even weeks between making a sale and when you get paid. With Payability’s Instant Access program, however, you’re paid 80% of your previous day’s sales, even on weekends and holidays. You’d collect the remaining 20% of the sale when the funds come through the e-commerce platform.
Payability charges you a percentage fee based on your previous month’s sales. It’s usually 2.00%, but can be lower if your average sales were more than $100,000. For example, if your fee was 2% and you earned $50,000 the previous month, your fee would be $1,000. This is the only fee you’ll pay.
To cancel Instant Access, you must give a written 30-day notice by emailing [email protected]
Is Payability worth it?
For e-commerce sellers who need cash as soon as possible, Payability could definitely be worth it. It can approve applications and send out money in as little as one business day. The company doesn’t require a credit check and only bases its decision on your platform sales, so business owners struggling to qualify with traditional lenders could use Payability. In addition, its reviews are overwhelmingly positive, as business owners note the fast processing times, supportive customer service and nice variety of products (such as the cash back debit card, see below).
Cons of Payability
With that being said, Payability may not be a good fit for everyone. While the lender’s fees are comparable to similar e-commerce payment services (like Payoneer and InstaPay), they are significantly more expensive than other sources of financing, like credit cards or traditional small business loans. Some of Payability’s customer reviews even point out that if you have access to these other sources of funds, you are likely better off using those instead. It’s always a good idea to compare rates before accepting any type of funding — even if you’re in a hurry to find working capital, there are alternatives. We highlight a few of Payability’s competitors in a later section.
Payability Seller Card
If you enroll in the Instant Access program, you can also take out a Payability Seller Card. This functions like a debit card connected to your e-commerce earnings. Payability will load up your e-commerce earnings onto this card so you can make purchases, just like a normal Visa debit card. Plus, the card earns 2% cash back on all your purchases.
You’ll need to qualify for the Instant Access program first to take out a Payability Seller Card, but there’s no additional application or credit check to get this card. The card itself does not charge a fee, but you’re paying to be part of the Instant Access program. The Payability Seller Card does not charge interest, since you’re not borrowing and only spending your own money.
Payability does not offer a credit card, though — if you want a credit card for your business, these are some of the best cards mentioned on our site.
Do you qualify for Payability?
- Minimum credit score required: None, Payability does not run a credit check
- Time in business required: Nine months selling history
- Monthly/annual revenue required: Average monthly sales of at least $10,000
- Minimum credit score required: None, Payability does not run a credit check
- Time in business required: Three months of selling history
- Monthly/annual revenue required: Average monthly sales of at least $2,000
Whether you qualify for Payability entirely depends on your e-commerce sales history. The lender does not check your credit or require any other financial information — so as long as you meet the required program minimums for time-in-business and monthly sales, you qualify.
Payability just uses your future sales as collateral and will not ask you to put up other financial assets as collateral. For Instant Advance, you do not need to personally guarantee the amount you borrow, but you would need to promise to continue your marketplace sales as normal or you could be personally liable for the amount.
Not all platforms supported
Payability offers platform-specific services for popular e-commerce sites, too: Amazon, eBay, Shopify, Tophatter, Walmart and Newegg. Payability used to support several others like Rakuten, Etsy and Google Shopping, but suspended servicing them due to COVID-19. Its website states that it may reopen these options in the future.
How to apply for Payability
Payability uses a simple, online application: You create an account by entering in your contact information. Then, link your e-commerce platform account to the Payability dashboard. Payability reviews your sales history through this connection.
From there, you enter in some more information about yourself and your business, including your SSN, how long your business has been open and your monthly marketplace sales. With this information, Payability will estimate which programs you could qualify for. If you qualify, you’ll upload your bank details so you can get your money by ACH transfer. For Instant Access, you can also request to get your money on a Payability Seller Card.
It is possible to use both programs at the same time, and you can apply for an additional cash advance once you’ve paid at least 50% of the first offer. If you need help, you can reach out to the Payability team by phone at 646-494-8675 or by email to [email protected]. Payability suggests that larger businesses (those with more than $100,000 in sales) email the sales team to see if special rates are available.
Payability versus competitors
Payability isn’t the only platform designed to advance money to e-commerce sellers. Here’s how it compares to three of its competitors.
Payability vs. InstaPay
InstaPay, another popular e-commerce lender, offers an e-commerce service specific to Amazon sellers. You can get paid up to 70% of your previous day’s earnings on Amazon. To use this service, you’ll pay a 1.00% - 2.00% fee.
Payability seems to offer more for the e-commerce market. It gives a higher advance (80% versus only up to 70%), works with more platforms and offers advances on future sales. It may be worth applying with InstaPay to see if you qualify for a lower fee, but otherwise Payability offers more benefits.
Payability vs. Payoneer
Payoneer, another competitor, also offers advances of up to $500,000 based on e-commerce sales. Fees and repayment amounts depend on your offer — on the website, Payoneer states it will collect a portion of each transaction to settle the advance (it gives 35% as an example, so the percentage could be higher than with Payability). One difference is that Payoneer charges a one-time fixed fee per advance — the lender lists a fee of 3% in an example — whereas Payability charges an ongoing 0.50% - 1.00% fee per week.
If you expect to pay off the advance quickly, Payability could be less expensive, whereas if you want more time, the Payoneer fixed fee could be the better deal. Payoneer could also be a good choice if you have a large sales volume and want a bigger advance, since you can borrow up to $500,000 (double what Payability offers). One drawback, though, is that Payoneer only works with Amazon and Walmart.
Payability vs. PayPal
If your business works with PayPal, it also offers working capital advances as well as small business loans. For PayPal working capital, how much you can borrow and your fee is based on your sales history. You will repay out of PayPal sales, typically 10% to 30% of what you borrow. PayPal small business loans range from $5,000 to $500,000. You’ll need at least $15,000 a year in business sales to take out a working capital advance and $42,000 in revenue for a business loan.
PayPal could be better for larger businesses wanting to borrow more money. Its maximum small business loan goes up to $500,000. However, PayPal checks your credit score for a loan, so if you only want an advance based on your marketplace sales, Payability could be better. One downside of PayPal is that it doesn’t link up with Amazon as easily as other lenders, so if that’s your primary platform, you may be better off with Payability.