The invention provides systems and methods for managing transactions. The system includes a data input portion that communicates first information regarding a payment request, as well as a decision reference data store for communicating second information regarding parameters for use in determining a payment option for the payment request. The system also includes a processor. The processor inputs the first information and the second information. Then, the processor selectably determines the payment option to direct a transmission of funds from at least one payment source to at least one payee account based on an optimization determination performed by the processor. The optimization determination may provide savings to the institution processing the transaction, or alternatively, may provide savings to the customer initiating the transaction, for example.