Startups change the world. But it can be impossible to start up quickly when your business needs payment services to function.
Payment service providers help online businesses and startups of all sizes get up and running. They also help to scale a business, all while being a, frankly, more affordable option.
If your business includes payment services but you can’t seem to get affordable services quickly and without all the regulations, then you’ve likely come across this hurdle. There are a number of payment providers who can help you, but each has different benefits. Payment providers come with unique features, partners, and costs.
To help you understand your options, we’re comparing Circle, a payment and treasury infrastructure connection, with the amazing features that Sila provides.
Payment Infrastructure for Businesses
Both Sila and Circle offer businesses payment infrastructure. This model is great for fintech startups who need to facilitate money transfers. With a payment infrastructure, your customers can open bank accounts, send money, receive money, and more.
Most commonly, the payment infrastructure business model provides new businesses with a payment servicing option. Often these businesses are too small and their finances are too uncertain to be accepted by their local bank.
Therefore, with a payment infrastructure partner, the business can securely provide payment services. The technologies will provide secure bank account linking, know your customer (KYC) and know your business (KYB) identity verification, and some compliance features that are needed to provide secure money partnerships.
Payment infrastructure software (IaaS) are versatile; other payment infrastructure technologies allow you to get a debit card, including branded/white-labeled cards and wire transfers.
What Circle Offers
Circle is a payment and treasury infrastructure for internet businesses. This company helps primarily online businesses send money globally. In one unified platform, Circle users can move digital fiat and cryptocurrency money.
Circle grants users integrated access to sending money and digital payments, primarily USDC for payments. Users can also trade, DeFi, and earn yield on USDC.
You have the ability to run your business on Circle (and you can even open a Circle account for free). Circle supports:
- Payment processing
- Programmed, fast, and global payouts
- Account infrastructure
- (Coming soon) Medium-term yield interest rate accounts through USDC
- Blockchain technology
- Secure VISA payments
Just like Sila, Circle is a customizable payment integration (API) for developers. Circle users can also provide a lot of USDC support in their API, including access to the Circle APIs for digital money transfer, USDC smart contract (on Etherscan, Algorand, Solana, and Tron) and an open-source framework for stablecoin governance.
How Sila Elevates Payment Services
Sila is also a payment infrastructure, but they go above and beyond what many IaaS businesses provide.
Sila is a bank agent and is able to keep customers out of the flow of funds, meaning that they can let Sila handle the responsibility of money transfers. They also provide payment services out-of-the-box, so their customers are able to set up payment services for their customers quickly and much more simply.
When you work with Sila, you gain access to their leading technology. The ACH API and banking API keep you connected to the payment processes you need with sophisticated money transfer systems already in place. Customers also gain access to the blockchain technology that is integrated into the API. If you want to send money internationally, you can do so easily with the Sila APIs.
Sila’s core features also include their expertise and management team. We don’t leave your startup to fend for itself. You can regularly contact our team to learn what compliance regulations you need to follow in different states and how to best support your clients.
One of our favorite features is the fintech marketplace. These aren’t just connections; our fintech marketplace includes pre-existing relationships with key financial partners like Plaid. The integration of things like bank account linking, KYC/KYB for user verification, and FDIC insured accounts comes automatically. And your team doesn’t need to worry about setting up something like this.
Some core features include:
- Compliance-as-a-service as part of our expert management team
- Infrastructure-as-a-service for core banking services
- Banking-as-a-service as our own bank agent
- Low fee ACH transfers (as little as $0.10 per API request)
- Bank wallet API
- US bank account linking
- In-app payments
- KYC and KYB integration
- An API sandbox for testing
- Cryptocurrency transfers for international payments
- ACH transfer API
- User metrics and analytics
Since finding a bank partner can be difficult (as well as time-consuming and expensive), Sila’s banking services simplify the process. With Sila, you don’t have to learn the complicated banking system. You can rely on our expertise and guidance.
One key differentiator is the SILAUSD, a U.S. issued stablecoin pegged to the penny. The SILAUSD gives users access to other stablecoin transfers as well as providing users with an extremely accurate cryptocurrency to send. Funds are held in an FDIC-member bank for optimal security.
Sila vs. Circle Pricing
Circle features are simple, which can be great. But this also means that they have limited offerings. Circle might be cheaper, at only $250 a month for payouts (programmed, global payments), but there are fees with just about every transaction (i.e., $25 per payout, $50 per wire reversal, .20% + $.50 per successful ACH transaction) and they have limited features in terms of ACH transfers (which are still in beta) and Visa partner wallets, which are coming soon.
Their crypto and fiat payment product is $1,000 per month and provides USDC money transfers, 2.9% and 0.30 per transaction on card payments, ACH (we think), $2 for successful wire transfers, fraud management, yield and Defi access, payments for USDC, cards, bank wire, ACH transferred into your account as USDC, and a connected bank account.
Sila’s payment platforms offer “grow” and “scale,” for simple offers.
Included in “grow” are:
- Free sandbox access
- $0.20 ACH transfers
- Fred digital wallet transfers
- Branded bank statement name
- Digital wallets (unlimited)
- Enhanced fraud protection
- Sila Marketplace access
- Slack/Zoom support
- Capable of identity verification (KYC) for 1,000 individuals
- Capable of identity verification (KYB) for 500 businesses
- 2,000 standard ACH transfers (debit or credit)
- And lots of versatility in payment options
Scale comes with a higher price and cheaper transactions, more users on KYC and KYB, 5x the amount of ACH debit and ACH credit transactions, and extremely high ($99.9MM) max ACh transfer amounts.
It’s clear that so much more is provided for the increase in pricing that Sila provides.
Why Choose Sila When You’re Ready to Grow
While both Circle and Sila technically provide similar services, their actual offerings differ widely. Circle provides payment infrastructure so that clients can send and receive money easily. Their link to the blockchain is through Defi, trade, and the use of the USDC cryptocurrency only.
This differs from Sila, which offers its users smart contract technology for automated bill payment and money transfers. They also provide a lot of versatility in sending money internationally, since the blockchain transfers can be sent to any other user with the Sila token globally.
Sila’s applications are widespread, which means that you have the opportunity to explore the boundaries of what is possible.
When it comes to choosing a product for your business, there might, of course, be budget restraints. But when you get into the “grow” section of Sila, you can see that there are a lot of features that Sila provides to growing businesses.
Sila comes with a lot more features tailored for seamless financial services. Our customers do not need to learn the ins and outs of the compliance system and can rely on our expertise to help them navigate that confusing world. Additionally, the compliance regulations come integrated into the API services so you won’t have to worry about all the red tape.
Trust in Sila, your new, comprehensive bank partner.