I read on https://blog.revolut.com/revolut-launch-united-states/:

U.S. customers will be able to get their salary up to two days in advance via direct deposit at no cost.

How can a bank make it possible for their customers to get their salary up to two days in advance?


4 Answers 4


This policy is standard for many US banks, e.g. Wells Fargo and Chase and often applies to all ACH/direct deposits, such as government benefits, pensions, and tax refunds. It is called early funds availability, and it actually is less generous than you expect.

Normal ACH/direct deposit clears overnight on business days. The bank receives a message that money is to be deposited, but the actual fund transfers are netted. (That is, outgoing transfers are paired with incoming transfers and cancel each other out.) This netting process is done in a batch for maximum efficiency, so transactions have to wait until the end of the business day, at which time money actually is moved.

Consistent with this clearing, by law, the bank must make the money available the business day after the business day on which ACH transaction arrives.

(Same-day direct deposit/ACH exists. Basically the same process occurs several times throughout the day. The employer has to be so motivated to elect for it, the bank loses the float on the money and therefore charges the employer more for the service.)

In most cases, therefore the bank advances you money for a matter of hours. Two days early occurs if you are paid on Friday, like many people are, then funds normally become available on Monday, and here the bank makes it available on Friday.

If you use those funds for a delayed clearing transaction, like an outgoing ACH (bill/mortgage payment), check clearing, or debit card purchase, the bank will have the funds in hand before they are sent out again. Only transactions like cash withdrawals and wires will the bank actually have to loan you funds.

The bank loses a little on float (interest) but gains customer loyalty and use of the account as one's default deposit account.

  • "all ACH/direct deposits" No, one-off ACH transfers are treated differently than recurring ACH. Policies of this type only work for recurring transfers.
    – Ben Voigt
    Dec 1, 2022 at 18:31

Direct-deposit paychecks don't require as much validation. The bank can afford to take the very small additional risk of releasing the money earlier.


One way a bank can make it possible for their customers to get their salary up to two days in advance is to offer an early direct deposit option. This would allow customers to have access to their funds as soon as they are deposited into their account, instead of waiting for the normal payday. The bank would need to coordinate with an employer to ensure the funds are deposited earlier than usual.


Legally it is like an interest free loan, or an interest free overdraft. If the bank is confident that either they will be paid by the company very soon (because that's what happened in the previous 12 months), or if the bank is confident that they will be paid back by you eventually, then it is up to them to take that risk or not. And usually they don't hand your salary over in cash. Say your salary is $4,000. So they increase the amount shown in your bank account from $58 to $4,058, and if a $100 bill comes in they change it to $3,958 instead of $-42. If no money comes in, they can likely block most of the money.

AND as other answers said, they might have ways to get a hold on your company's money quicker than usual.

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