Melio Review: Pricing, Features & Alternatives 2023
This article is part of a larger series on Accounting Software.
Melio, a modern payment solution, provides you flexibility with how you pay your bills—it gives you the option of paying by bank transfer (ACH) or your credit card, even if your vendors only accept checks. It also helps streamline the accounts payable (A/P) process by gathering all of your bills in one user-friendly interface.
You can handle your accounts receivable (A/R) with the ability to receive bank transfers, even a same-day bank transfer for a 1% fee, and accept credit card payments. The services of Melio are free, with the exception of credit card fees, international transfers, and expedited check delivery.
What We Like
- Unlimited users can be added for free
- Send single or recurring invoices
- Free to pay and receive bank transfers
- No monthly fee for the platform
- Your vendors don’t need a Melio account to receive payments
- A/P only syncs with QuickBooks Online
- Unable to send international wires in other currencies
- No mobile app
- No telephone support
- Can only process payments to businesses, not individuals
- Businesses seeking both an A/P and A/R solution together with QuickBooks: Melio offers the ability to pay vendors and invoicing solutions, such as sending single or recurring invoices and syncing customer payments.
- Businesses struggling with cash flow: Melio lets you pay with a credit card, then it’ll send a check to your vendor. Paying with a credit card and delaying when the funds leave your account allow you to extend your float and may also earn you extra points, miles, or cash back.
- Businesses issuing 1099s: If you need to send 1099s to your vendors, Melio makes this process seamless. You can access the 1099 report from your dashboard, which you can classify and export to a comma-separated values (CSV) file. Use this information to complete your 1099 form or export the file to your accountant.
- Businesses paying international vendors: Businesses can pay their vendors in United States dollars (USD) in Canada, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and other areas. While many competitors charge up to $50 for international transactions, Melio only charges a $20 fee for international transfers. Note that international wires are unavailable in other currencies.
- Xero users: If you’re looking for a cloud-based A/P automation application that integrates with Xero, we recommend choosing Bill.com instead.
- Businesses working remotely: Melio currently doesn’t offer a mobile app for iOS and Android users, so we suggest Zoho Books, which we ranked as the best A/P software for mobile devices. Its robust app is ideal for monitoring expenses and bills, and you can gain business insights through a key performance indicator (KPI) dashboard.
- Businesses seeking help with tax compliance: If you have more complex needs, such as built-in tax and regulatory compliance, we recommend Tipalti. It has many advanced features, such as automated approval workflows and self-service supplier onboarding, and provides businesses with six payment methods and 120 currencies.
- Businesses wanting an A/P solution within their accounting software: QuickBooks Online, which we ranked as the best small business accounting software, is an excellent option if you’re looking to schedule and make payments directly within the platform. It lets you pay bills either by printing checks or by using the online bill pay feature, which enables you to track payment status and remittance information.
Melio Deciding Factors
Supported Business Types
Businesses looking for a standalone payment solution
No monthly fee; 2.9% debit and credit card transaction fees
Accounting Software Integrations
Microsoft Dynamics (A/R only)
FreshBooks (A/R only)
Special A/P Features
Batch processing of bills
Optical character recognition or AI for billing
Automatic bill capture from Email
Best for: Businesses wanting bookkeeping and A/P management features in one software
Best for: Businesses looking for a comprehensive A/P and A/R management solutions
Best for: Businesses needing an A/P software with extensive tax compliance options
Starts at: $55 for QuickBooks Online Essentials with A/P management features
Starts at: $55 per user per month for QuickBooks and Xero integration
Read our QuickBooks Online review
Read our Bill.com review
Read our Tipalti review
Signing up is completely free, and Melio has no monthly subscription fees. It’s an affordable solution for businesses because they only pay per transaction which can be advantageous if they have very few transactions.
GET PAID (A/R)
We evaluated Melio’s general and special A/P features. General A/P features include adding vendors, viewing unpaid bills, and paying bills. On the other hand, special A/P features focus on A/P automation features like workflows, automatic bill capture, and vendor portals.
Melio General A/P Features
Melio scored fairly in this criteria because it contains the essential general A/P features we’d like to see. However, our in-depth analysis reveals that Melio is best partnered with accounting software services like QuickBooks Online and is not meant to be used standalone to handle daily business transactions. It’s a great A/P solution, but we don’t recommend using Melio as a substitute for accounting software.
From your Melio dashboard, you can easily pay all of your vendors, including those in other countries—and they don’t even need to have a Melio account to accept payment. You can send international bank transfers in US dollars for a flat fee of $20, no matter the amount of the payment. Melio also allows you to make multiple payments to international and domestic vendors at the same time.
You can make payments via bank transfer or credit card, and you can also have business checks sent on your behalf to arrive in five to seven business days. Expedited payment processing allows for fast checks to arrive within three business days or a same-day bank transfer for additional fees. Other features include the ability to pay multiple bills together or split a single bill into several payments. You can also set up recurring payments for bills you pay regularly.
Melio syncs with QuickBooks Online (all versions except Simple Start), QuickBooks Desktop, FreshBooks, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central for A/R functions, which includes the ability to send payment requests and auto-reconcile incoming payments. It syncs with QuickBooks Online for A/P functions, which eliminates dual data entry with an automatic two-way sync for all of your bills and bill payments.
You can use Melio to pay contractors and generate a report that will assist you or your accountant with processing 1099 forms if you have paid them more than $600 in a year. You can easily classify and export a CSV file of this information for quick access.
Melio Special A/P Features
Melio’s special A/P features are not as comprehensive as those of its competitors. It doesn’t have a vendor portal, automatic bill capture from email, and audit trails. However, we don’t see these missing features as a major miss. Being a platform with no subscription fee, we think that these trade-offs won’t matter greatly.
Melio allows you to add your team members and set up approval workflows so that you’re able to stay on top of who is managing which payments. You can invite other people from your business, your accountant, or your bookkeeper for free and set up their roles so that you can review and approve payments before they’re sent.
Melio offers three ways to add a bill: upload the file, enter the details manually, or sync with QuickBooks Online. If you opt to upload the invoice, you can select a PDF or JPG file from your computer or phone, which will be read automatically by Melio’s artificial intelligence (AI) technology and filled in with the relevant information to schedule the payment.
Melio Ease of Use
The platform’s user interface is intuitive and easy to use. If you have an Intuit account, you can use this to sign in and get started. Otherwise, you can sign up for free in a matter of minutes, and it doesn’t take long to add vendor details. Melio’s dashboard provides you with an integrated tool that allows you to manage and track all of your A/R and A/P through a single platform, streamlining these processes.
Melio’s customer support team is available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time, and closed on federal holidays. You can use live chat to connect with customer support during operating hours. You can also email Melio’s support team, and a rep will get back to you within 24 hours inside the operating hours.
The provider’s help center is also a good resource as you can browse through different topics or use the search bar to find something more specific. One of the most noteworthy aspects of Melio’s customer service is that it maintains a list of customers who have requested a new feature and will notify them when it’s released. The reason Melio didn’t score better for Ease of Use is that telephone support isn’t offered at this time.
Melio User Reviews
Melio reviews from users show that its dashboard is user-friendly and easy to navigate. Reviewers also praised the freedom and flexibility to pay vendors and receive payments from customers. They also appreciate the ability to set up user roles and approval workflows.
The biggest drawback of Melio is complaints about its unresponsive support, especially when urgent issues arise such as fraudulent activity. Users also didn’t like that there’s no way to contact support via telephone.
The platform has earned the following average scores on popular review sites:
- Trustpilot: 4.2 out of 5 based on around 670 reviews
- Capterra: 3.7 out of 5 based on over 140 reviews
- Better Business Bureau (BBB): 3.2 out of 5 based on about 75 reviews
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does Melio charge a fee?
Yes, but only for transactions. Signing up is completely free, and you don’t need to pay a monthly subscription.
How long does it take for Melio to process payments?
It takes around one to three business days to process transactions.
What can’t you pay with Melio?
There are some exceptions to what you can pay with Melio, which include personal payments, payments from prepaid cards, balance transfers, payroll transactions, cash advances, flammables and explosives, and pharmaceuticals.
Melio streamlines the A/P process from the moment a business owner receives a bill to when vendors receive their payment. It provides businesses with numerous funding options, including those that vendors don’t typically accept, such as credit cards. It allows you to manage all of your bills and customer invoices from one platform at an affordable price.