ING Direct just recently made a nice improvement to its Person2Person Payment service. This type of service allows you to send money to anyone with a US-based bank account. I reviewed one improvement two weeks ago for those with iPhones. This new change applies to all ING Direct customers.
As I first described last year, the main issue with ING Direct’s P2P payment service has been the need for the sender to know the recipient’s account number. Unless the recipient is a close friend or family member, there is probably going to be some uneasiness about this. ING Direct has recently made an improvement which eliminates this issue.
The sender now only needs to know the last four digits of the recipient’s account number. Here’s ING Direct’s new description of how its Person2Person Payment system works:
First, enter the person’s information into your Address Book or directly from the Person2Person Payment Setup Page – just provide his/her name, email address, and the last four digits of their account number. Then, click on 'Person2Person Payment’ or continue setting it up. Enter the amount and any note you want sent with the payment.
Once you press the ’Send’ button, the money will be deducted from your account and an email will be sent to your recipient. Tell them to look for it. They can then use the link within the email to go to a secure page and give their full account information for where the money should be sent. Provided their entry matches what you initially entered, the transfer will be completed!
A Person2Person Payment to another ING DIRECT account takes place at the time account information is confirmed – instantaneously.
A Person2Person Payment to an account outside of ING DIRECT takes up to 2 business days to post after the recipient picks up the payment.
Note, for transfers to bank accounts outside of ING Direct, ACH is used. So that’s the reason for the delay.
I have some family members who would probably still prefer a paper check when I have to pay them for something. ING Direct’s Person2Person Payment service will save them work from having to cash the check. However, they will need to tell me their last four digits of the account number, and they will need to follow the instructions of the email. With all the email scams, they may feel a little uneasy about following an email link to enter their bank account information. I was told the email link does point to a secure ING Direct website. Also, the email should have the person’s name, and the person should be expecting the email when you tell him or her that you’re sending payment this way. That should help to reduce the concerns, but I have a feeling those who are not too web savvy may still prefer the old fashion paper check.
Other Person-to-Person Payment Services
Many other banks have been starting their own P2P payment services. Most are using third party services such as Popmoney from Cashedge and ZashPay from Fiserv. Some of the banks using Popmoney include FNBO Direct, PNC, US Bank and Citibank. I have more details about FNBO Direct’s Popmoney service in this review.