Ever get a call from your college-aged kid who needs cash fast? Or wanted an easy way to split the tab on that expensive group baby shower gift? We found a new way to instantly send people money from your own bank account that's quick and convenient.
If Jennifer Poole heads out the door to meet friends for lunch and forgets her wallet, she doesn't panic.
"If I leave my wallet at home and I'm out dining with friends they can, you know, allow me to order and I can pay them back right on the spot with my phone."
Poole just whips out her smartphone, opens her mobile banking app, enter's her friend's email or cell number, and "zaps" them her portion of the bill.
"It's crazy that you can just take your phone and pay someone immediately on the spot."
The American Bankers Association says the number of banks offering these "insta pay" services is growing. The programs allow you to instantly transfer money from your bank account to someone else's using online or mobile banking.
"You can pay anybody that has an email address or mobile phone number with these services. All they have to do is register their own mobile phone number or email," said Steve Kenneally, American Bankers Association.
Financial experts said one force behind this peer to peer payment trend is millennials who live on electronic devices.
"They expect their money to move as quickly as their email moves or their texting moves," said Kenneally.
Could these quickie payments mean the end of checks? Possibly. Americans have already written billions fewer checks over the past decade and now banks are offering one more way to pay without paper.
"I think you'll see insta payments replacing a lot of that," said Kenneally.
Poole agrees, saying she even pays her rent now by entering her landlord's number right into her online banking.
"I write far fewer checks and I find myself going to the ATM less as well because I can just pay anything."
Before you sign up for an insta-pay service experts suggest you ask your bank these questions:
- How do they keep your personal data secure?
- How quickly will payments "post" to your account so you can use the money?
- How much are the fees?
Fewer checks being written as banks offer insta payment services
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