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Visa to offer person-to-person Payment Service

March 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Visa announced Wednesday it is developing a new service that will allow U.S. customers to send money directly to one another, presenting new competition to PayPal.

Visa already lets people send money to Visa accounts in many other countries, but this will be the first time it will offer the service in the U.S.

People who use banks that participate in the new program will be able to send money directly to someone’s Visa account by entering the recipient’s Visa account number, e-mail address or mobile-phone number in an online payment form.

Visa said it has made deals with two payment companies, Fiserv and CashEdge, so that those companies can allow their customers to send money to Visa accounts. Banks offer Fiserv’s ZashPay and CashEdge’s Popmoney services to their customers for sending money to other people. The first banks are expected to make the Visa service available through CashEdge and Fiserv in the second half of the year, Visa said. It’s not clear whether Visa will offer the service on its own.

Visa is late to the person-to-person payment market in the U.S. PayPal has been offering it for years and does not require a user to bank with a specific financial institution. However, with PayPal, users have to sign up for the service to receive the money and may have to take additional steps depending on how they want to use the money.

In a statement, PayPal pointed out its broader reach. “As the leader in global online payments for the last twelve years, PayPal has unmatched advantages that we believe put us ahead of the competition,” said Anuj Nayar, a PayPal spokesman. “PayPal connects to 57 different financial networks and 15,000 local banks in 190 markets — not just in the Visa network, but with payment methods that meet our customers’ preferences in markets around the world.”

Moving Your Money While You’re on the Move

September 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Mobile

Mobile Banking-Just that phrase along invokes glee for those of us who do not savor the idea of spending any of our precious time inside one of those notoriously lethargic brick and mortar throwbacks known as branch banking.

But what exactly is mobile banking? Depending on who you ask, you’ll get different answers. For some it’s the ability to perform banking transactions remotely, from a pc for example. Others even consider ATM’s as remote banking since they technically exist in locations different from the actual branch. Both definitions would be correct. However, what we are talking about is far more convenient. That is Mobile Banking using your cell phone. Most financial institutions are still in the infancy stage of developing their mobile banking applications, but a few non bank vendors have taken the lead.  We’ve listed some of the most noteworthy ones below.

 Mocapay, Inc. Is an interesting app you can download for free from app stores for both Android and Apple devices.  This application’s stand out feature is that it allows you to purchase gift cards then send them via SMS to intended recipient. The downside of this product is it has very limited gift card retailers at this point.  We recommend checking their website frequently to see if they’ve added more.

 For those of you who engage in selling merchandise or services of any sort, there’s no need to lug around bulky mobile POS devices. Thanks to VeriFone’s Payware Mobile Productyou can attach a credit card reader to your iPhones and immediately begin taking payments from your customers.  The drawback is, you first must establish a merchant account and of course, give a percentage of your sales for the privilege of accepting credit cards.

 And there’s ZashPay. We saved the best for last. We think this one offers the most promise as it’s the simplest to use. This product is offered by Fiserv, a financial services vendor. It allows every day consumer to turn their cell phones into a mini money transfer agent, without the normally outrageous fees. If you want to pay a friend for money you’ve borrowed, simply enter their mobile phone number and the amount and ZashPay does the rest.  Before we get you too excited, there are several drawbacks to this product. The first being all mobile carriers aren’t supported. The second drawback is that both the sender and receiver must sign up and provide banking information in order for this transaction to work. An additional drawback would be the amount of time it takes for the receiver to gain access to their funds. ZashPay is indicating that it usually takes one business day, which doesn’t seem to be too bad.

 The bottom line is we are in for exponential growth in expanding our mobile devices to support banking or banking like transactions. Consumers are demanding greater flexibility and convenience. While financial institutions must meet those demands, they must also find ways to eliminate overhead. Mobile financial applications will easily satisfy both requirements.