Melio Software Review 2024

Our Verdict

Unify vendor payments, expenses, and invoicing in one sleek platform

We think that the Melio platform could help a lot of small businesses save time and money on payment processing. Its features are powerful, and we love the seamless user interface. On top of that, the platform is 100% free to use and comes with competitive transaction fees.

While freelancers with a small vendor pool might not be able to use the platform to its full potential, small traders and sole businesses looking to streamline invoicing and vendor management will no doubt find that Melio gives them more financial control, and as it’s free to sign up it’s definitely worth trying.

Pros

  • Intuitive, sleek interface both on web and mobile
  • The platform is free to use
  • Free to pay and receive bank transfers
  • Simplifies the vendor payment process

Cons

  • No Android app
  • No phone support
  • Only supports international payments in USD

Melio Plans & Pricing

Melio is one of the few accounting tools out there that’s free to use, meaning you won’t need to mull over the different plans or worry about committing to a monthly subscription. Creating an account is completely free, and you can add an unlimited number of users too.

Plan Monthly Cost/Per user Users Payroll Double Entry Manage Expenses Reporting Customer Support
Free Free Unlimited Basic reporting

So, how does Melio make money? To sum it up: transaction fees. While receiving and sending standard ACH bank transfers is free, Melio charges a small percentage for checks, bank card transfers, and instant payments. Here’s a look at those percentages in more detail:

  • Check mailing – $1.50 per check
  • Pay by card – 2.9%
  • Fast ACH bank transfer – 1%
  • Faster check mailing – $20 per check
  • International payments in USD – $20 flat fee

Melio’s transaction fees are competitive compared to other payment providers out there, like PayPal and Stripe. The fact that the platform is free also puts it in good stead against small business accounting platforms such as Bonsai or Sage.

However, as you’ll find out when we take a closer look at Melio’s features, the tool doesn’t have the holistic functionality to be considered a true accounting platform, although it is fantastic for managing invoices and expenses.

Melio overview

Starting price Free
Best for Simplifying small business payments
Customer support Help desk and email
App integrations QuickBooks and Xero
Security & Compliance PCI-compliant, multi-factor authentication
Payroll
Reporting & analytics
Mobile app
Double entry
E-signatures ✅ – with DocHub integration
Auto-alerts and reminders

Features

Melio stands out from the crowd for its intuitive interface and seamless, enjoyable user experience. Beyond that, we think the platform’s approach to vendor management is a real unique selling point, giving organizations excellent flexibility over how they pay vendors, which we haven’t seen anywhere else.

Plus, its invoicing feature makes setting up and receiving payments easy, and we love how they go straight to your bank account, instead of Melio acting as a middleman.

Saying that, Melio also has some downsides. With only basic reporting functionality and no means to manage inventory or employee payroll, Melio doesn’t have the depth and breadth of features as most accounting platforms.

Let’s take a closer look.

Accounts payable

Melio's accounts payable feature

Melio’s accounts payable feature wonderfully simplifies the process of paying vendors and contractors. To set up payments, you can either take a photo of an invoice through the mobile app or sync the platform with your chosen accounting software.

Once you’ve done that, Melio uses automation and data analytics to upload your business bill from the platform. For us, it did this in less than a minute, which was impressive. Once a bill is uploaded, you can either pay via bank transfer or card–even in instances where your supplier only accepts bank transfers, which is very handy for businesses that want to streamline vendor management or unlock the benefits of paying via credit card.

On top of that, we loved the automation feature that allows you to schedule multiple bills at once and set up recurring payments, both of which make for great time savers.

The only downside to the accounts payable feature is the lack of inventory management. If you’re a retailer, for example, that purchases stock, then Melio can pay your supplier, but they won’t give you any insight into your products that could help to automate and streamline the fulfillment process.

Accounts receivable

Melio's accounts receivables feature

When it comes to invoicing, Melio’s process is fast and easy. We loved that the money we received from customers went directly into our bank account, rather than remaining with the software provider.

We also thought the customization options Melio offers are superb, both for users and their customers. When we sent a test invoice to ourselves, for example, we noticed that we could pay either by card or ACH bank transfer. Plus, when it comes to invoicing design, we could add a company logo and email signature, which adds a sense of professionalism.

Pay over time

Melio's pay over time feature

Cash flow challenges are common amongst startups, especially in the early stages. To help with this, Melio has designed a feature called ‘pay over time’. Essentially, when you need to pay a vendor or cover expenses, this capability enables you to pay the amount in full when, really, Melio has temporarily paid on your behalf, offering a repayment plan with interest.

The repayment plans vary from 30 days to 12 months, and the interest rates rise in line with this. With an interest fee of 16% for 12 months, Melio’s rates aren’t cheap, but it’s nice to see the option available within the platform.

Mobile app

Melio's mobile app

A lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners work on the go, and Melio’s mobile app complements that kind of working lifestyle perfectly. With all the functionality of the desktop app, Melio’s mobile solution is powerful and convenient.

The only downside is that the application is only available for iOS and not for Android phones—although, according to Melio’s website, the Android version is coming soon.

Integrations

While Melio is fantastic for payments, it lacks the reporting, forecasting, and payroll management features to compete with the best accounting software –that is, until you take a look at its integrations.

Melio integrates with two of the most well-known accounting platforms on the market: QuickBooks and Xero. We tested out the Xero integration and were impressed. Connecting the apps took just minutes and we were pleased to see that Melio had retrospectively synced our bills and invoices in Xero over the past few weeks.

Once we were set up, we noticed that syncing happened regularly–multiple times a day–and there were no errors. For tasks like bank reconciliations and bookkeeping, integrating with Xero or Quickbooks is a must.

Melio Customer Reviews

As part of our reviewing process, we look at third-party reviews from trusted websites like G2 and TrustPilot to understand what other users think of Melio worldwide.

On G2, customers praised Melio for its ease of use and loved the fact that it’s free. While most reviews were positive, there were a couple of negative reviews, noting that payments can take up to three days to come through via ACH transfer.

A Melio review on G2

It was a similar story on TrustPilot, with reviewers praising the platform and the customer service team, noting them as quick to respond and helpful. On the negative side, some reviewers noted that Melio doesn’t have a phone line for customer service, which some people may prefer.

What is Melio Good For?

Melio is a great option for small businesses, freelancers, and entrepreneurs who regularly use vendors and contractors. The platform makes it easy to manage these expenses in one unified console, and its simple interface means that even technology novices will find it easy to use.

However, it’s important to note that Melio is not a full-service accounting platform, so if you’re looking for a comprehensive accounting solution you’re better off with one of our top-rated accounting software providers.

Melio vs Top Competitors

Melio QuickBooks Kashoo Bonsai
Best for Small businesses looking to enhance vendor management Small businesses looking to streamline accounting Startups new to the world of accounting Digital freelancers
Starting Price Free $15/month $18/month (billed annually at $216) $21/month
Free Trial Forever Free 30-days 14-days 7-days
Payroll ✅ – through integration
Reporting
Mobile App ✅ – iOS ✅ – iOS and Android ✅ – iOS and Android ✅ – iOS and Android

Melio vs QuickBooks

Melio and QuickBooks are more complementary to each other than competitive. While QuickBooks has capabilities for invoicing and vendor management, Melio’s approach to payments is much more unified and straightforward.

However, QuickBooks has strengths that Melio lacks, especially when it comes to payroll and reporting. For that reason, the integration between the two makes sense–and it’s a powerful combination for SMBs looking to take better control over their finances.

Read more about QuickBooks in our QuickBooks review here.

Melio vs Kashoo

With features like double-entry accounting, cash flow analysis, and in-depth reporting, Kashoo is a more complete accounting solution than Melio.

However, Melio isn’t trying to be a full-offer accounting solution. It’s a payment provider and, in that area, its capabilities stand above Kashoo for several reasons. For one, Kashoo’s interface isn’t as pleasant and intuitive to use. It’s also a lot more manually-intense, requiring you to enter vendor bank details, costs, and so on. Melio, on the other hand, does this all for you.

Read more about Kashoo in our Kashoo review.

Melio vs Bonsai

Melio and Bonsai have slightly different capabilities, which makes sense given their target audiences. Bonsai combines customer relationship management with invoicing. Thanks to time-tracking features, customizable invoice templates, and fast payment options, the platform is perfect for digital freelancers without many vendors or expenses.

Melio, on the other hand, combines invoicing capabilities with in-depth vendor management, allowing small businesses with a growing supply chain to take charge of their finances and spend less time on admin.

Read more about Bonsai in our Bonsai review here.

How We Test Accounting Software

Our primary focus is to provide you with impartial and comprehensive guidance on various accounting software platforms that undergo our testing. To achieve this, we meticulously evaluate each provider for a minimum of 30 days, allowing us to thoroughly understand the platform’s strengths and weaknesses.

  • Pricing – We thoroughly compare each software platform’s pricing against well-established competitors, ensuring an accurate assessment of its affordability within the market.
  • Features – Leveraging our expertise in self-employed accounting software platforms, we juxtapose each provider’s features with those of other leading solutions. Our evaluation encompasses factors like ease of use, reporting capabilities, bookkeeping, and security.
  • Integrations – In our assessment of each software platform, we scrutinize the integrations available and how they contribute to the platform’s ability to assist end users in achieving their objectives.
  • Automation – Recognizing that efficiency and accuracy are paramount in accounting software, we systematically test for automation capabilities across every feature. Our goal is to inform you when a platform has the potential to enhance your productivity.
  • Ease of Use – A platform that proves challenging to navigate can be discouraging and counterproductive. In every review, we approach the user experience as if we are new to accounting software, evaluating how easily non-technical users can use the platform.
  • Third-Party Reviews – To provide a comprehensive understanding of a product, we merge our reviews with insights gathered from reputable third-party websites like Reddit and Trustpilot. This approach ensures a well-rounded assessment of the product’s performance and reputation in the broader user community.

How to Choose the Best Accounting Software

When searching for accounting software, it is crucial to consider several factors to make sure you make the right choice for your business.

  • Price – Look at the software’s cost both initially and over an extended period, considering several years.
  • Features – Investigate the features available in each plan. Aim for a provider that can address as many of your requirements as possible without necessitating additional software purchases. When comparing plans within the same provider, ensure that you do not overlook essential features available in higher-tier plans.
  • Scalability – Contemplate your business’s long-term growth plans and assess whether the software can adapt and scale with your increasing customer base.
  • Ease of Use – Opt for software that is user-friendly and intuitive. This ensures that you can start reaping its benefits immediately, rather than spending hours on configuration and training.
  • Integrations – Confirm that the plan you choose includes the integrations you need to fulfill your role.
  • Customer Support – Choose a provider with easily accessible support, preferably through 24/7 live chat, ensuring assistance is available whenever needed.

FAQs

What is Melio accounting?

Is Melio the same as QuickBooks?

How much is Melio per month?

Does Melio work with Xero?

Do vendors need a Melio account to get paid?

Hannah Pisani

Hannah Pisani is a seasoned writer with a keen focus on the intersection between technology and the evolving nature of work. Over the last five years, she has written content for numerous leading technology brands, including Microsoft, AWS and Oracle. She regularly contributes to international technology publications such as Silicon Angle, Cloudwards and Techopedia. Hannah's depth of knowledge encompasses HR software, cybersecurity, SaaS tools and marketing optimization. She thrives on leveraging her expertise to empower business leaders, guiding them towards informed decisions that optimize efficiency and drive productivity.