How and when do payments get processed?
Payment processing refers to what happens after a user makes a payment. Processing here refers to Zai's interactions with the users’ banks behind the scenes, and the workflow that the funds go through.
When a user makes a payment on your platform, this doesn’t mean that the funds have automatically cleared the bank. Zai processes payments in batches. Each transaction gets included in a batch. Collectively and in our documentation, this is called the batch, or batch transactions.
Note: Batch processing typically applies to direct debit and direct credit payments. Credit card payments are applied instantly.
While item states track what has happened to an item on your platform so far, a batch transaction state tells you what has happened to the funds for that item.
Batch processing can be divided into two workflows: pay-in and payout.
While we give our buyers the peace of mind by confirming their payments, this does not mean that we receive the actual funds immediately. We can consider pay-ins as funds receivable until it has cleared the buyer’s bank. Meanwhile, we pay the seller using Zai's funds. These amounts reconcile upon successful bank processing, usually after 2 business days.
Pay-in workflows track the funds paid from a buyer’s account into the Zai vault. Upon a successful payment, Zai applies funds to the seller’s digital wallet while waiting for the seller’s bank to clear the direct debit transaction.
The pay-in workflow ends when the funds successfully clear the buyer’s bank into Zai's vault.
While we give our sellers the peace of mind by applying payments to their digital wallets, this does not mean that the funds are available for disbursement immediately. We can consider payouts as funds payable until it has been applied by the seller’s bank. The funds become available upon successful bank processing, usually after 3 business days.
Payout workflows track the funds paid out from the Zai vault to the seller’s account. After a successful pay-in batch, Zai proceeds to credit the funds to the seller’s bank account (called disbursement account).
The payout workflow ends when the funds successfully clear Zai's vault into the seller’s bank account.
The following flowchart illustrates a typical batch process, showing the pay-in and payout phases for Australia and New Zealand (ACH payments in the US take 2 business days longer in and out).
Please note: This diagram refers to our previous brand name, Assembly. We're in the process of updating the image to replace with Zai.
- Payments made after 9am UTC (7pm AUS EST) are processed the next business day.
- Payments in Australia and New Zealand clear after 2-3 business days, payments in the US clear after 5. Actual processing time can vary.
Our batches currently run four times a day (excluding non-processing days), at the following times:
- 8:30am Melbourne/Sydney Australia
- 2:30pm Melbourne/Sydney Australia
- 5pm Melbourne/Sydney Australia
- 7pm Melbourne/Sydney Australia
In the pre-live environment, the batches are exported every 30 minutes and you will receive a webhook update indicating the "exported" state of the batch and its transactions.
Domestic transfers usually clear within 1-2 business days, while international transfers can take up to 5 business days. Slow-to-pay countries may take longer.
Note that a payment undergoes both a pay-in batch and a payout batch. Thus, a complete payment workflow can last up to 10 days.
Bank holidays and other non-processing days like weekends also affect timeframes.