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Popmoney Review: How Does It Work and Which Banks Use It?


By Shen Lu

What is Popmoney?

Popmoney® is a payment service that allows people to transfer money between bank accounts using the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network.

The service is powered by Fiserv, an international financial services company that executes 20 billion digital transactions, moving $1 trillion every year.

To use this service, you can sign up at popmoney.com or download the mobile app, with your bank account information. If your bank works with Popmoney, you can log into your online banking site or mobile banking app to use the feature. Much like Zelle, you can send money to or request it from your contacts, who will receive notifications through email or text message.

Is Popmoney safe to use?

Popmoney sends a one-time verification code to the mobile number or email address where the payment notification was sent to prevent unauthorized payments. The code receiver needs to confirm that code to verify he/she indeed owns that mobile number or email address before the user can deposit the payment.

But the service offers limited fraud protection. You as a user could be liable for unauthorized transfers if you don’t report such transactions to Popmoney in a timely manner. If you notify the company within two business days after discovering a fraud, you are liable for up to $50. If you wait longer than two business days, you may be liable for as much as $500. If you don’t report at all within 60 days, your liability may be unlimited. The company bears no responsibility for transactions where either the information of the sender or receiver entered through the service is inaccurate, nor is it liable for resulting damages. If users inform Popmoney of such incidents, the service will make a “reasonable effort” to stop or recover a payment made to the wrong person or entity, but there is no guarantee of recovery.

Because of the lack of robust fraud protections, users should be vigilant about scams. Even though your bank account information won’t be shared, you should make sure that you know the person you are exchanging money with. When you receive a request for money, verify the sender’s number or email carefully to avoid falling for a scam.

How does Popmoney work?

To transfer funds using this service, users can sign up online with their bank account information. If their banks are in the Popmoney network, they can use this feature on their online banking site or the mobile banking app.

Users can send money to or request it from their contacts, who don’t necessarily need to sign up for Popmoney and will receive notifications of payments or requests by email or text message.

What banks use Popmoney?

Popmoney currently partners with nearly 2,500 financial institutions — this means you can use this service directly from the bank’s website or mobile app. If you don’t bank with one of these institutions, you can still use Popmoney by setting up an account with your bank information on the website or downloading the app.

How to send money with Popmoney

You must sign up with Popmoney in order to send money. Users can send money from their debit card or bank account to the recipient’s email address or mobile phone number. Your contact doesn’t need to have an existing Popmoney account. They will be notified when you make the payment. Popmoney will ask for the recipient’s bank account information if they are not already a user, so that they can direct funds into their bank account.

How to receive money with Popmoney

You do not need to sign up for a Popmoney account in order to receive funds from a Popmoney user. When someone sends you a payment, you will be notified via email or text message. You will be asked to provide your bank account information if you are new, so that funds can be transferred into your bank account. You will receive a confirmation email when the credit is sent to your bank account with the date the funds will be in your account. You have to provide your account information within 10 days after receiving the payment notification to avoid the funds being returned to the sender.

How to request money with Popmoney

You can request money from someone using his/her email address or mobile phone number. If the person you requested money from doesn’t have a Popmoney account, he/she has to sign up first. You should receive the payment within three business days after money is sent to you. The payment will be deposited into the bank account you selected when sending the request.

How long does Popmoney take to transfer money into a bank account?

It takes 1 business day to transfer money if you submit a payment with your debit card by 5 p.m. PST and the recipients accept the payment by 10 p.m. PST the same day. If you send money from your bank account by 10 p.m. PST and the recipient confirms payment within two days, it takes up to three business for the funds to arrive.

Is there a limit to how much money you can send and receive with Popmoney?

Yes. If you pay through your debit card, your daily transaction limit is $500, and the monthly limit is $1,000. If you transfer funds from your bank account, you have a daily limit of $2,000 and a monthly limit of $5,000.

If you request money from someone else, your daily maximum amount is $1,000 and the monthly maximum amount is $2,500. If you pay a request, you have a cap of $2,500 every day and $4,000 every month.

Are there any fees to use Popmoney?

It costs $0.95 to send and request money. It’s free to receive money or fulfill a payment request.

Popmoney vs. other person-to-person payment networks

It’s best to use Popmoney to transfer money between friends and family. We don’t recommend you send funds via Popmoney to people you don’t know, and you should always carefully check the recipient’s contact information when initiating a transfer, because if you mistakenly send it to the wrong person or to a fraudster, Popmoney won’t cover you.

We’ve also compared Popmoney with other person-to-person payment services. Take a look at some alternatives that offer better security policies, free transfers or faster transactions.

Popmoney vs. PayPal

Process

Popmoney transfers money directly between bank accounts or debit cards, and is integrated into various banks’ online banking. The recipient doesn’t necessarily need a Popmoney account.

PayPal® withdraws money from the sender’s PayPal balance, if available and sufficient. Otherwise, it debits the sender's linked bank account for free, or charges credit or debit card for a fee. The funds will be deposited into the recipient’s PayPal balance.

Speed

With Popmoney, if a payment is made with a debit card by 5 p.m. PST, the recipient will get the funds the next business day if confirmed by 10 p.m. PST. If a sender pays through a bank account, it takes up to three days for the money to be delivered.

PayPal transfers arrive in the recipient’s PayPal account first, and they must separately request for the funds to be transferred to their bank account. Transfers requested before 7 p.m. EST on business days usually arrive on the next business day, and transfers requested after that time (or on weekends or holidays) usually arrive on the second business day.

Fraud protection

Popmoney said users may be liable for unauthorized transactions if they don’t report in a timely manner. Popmoney also explicitly stated the service is not responsible for recovery of misdirected funds.

PayPal offers comprehensive buyer-seller protections for transactions for goods and services, which personal transfers between friends and family don’t enjoy. If you make business transactions, PayPal is a safer choice. If an unauthorized transaction, an error or a suspicious transaction occurs, report it to PayPal within 60 days. If your transaction qualifies for Paypal Purchase protection, you will not be held liable for it.

But if you just transfer money to friends and family, the services are about equal in this regard.

Fees

Payments or requests made through Popmoney cost $0.95 per transaction. There is no charge for receiving money or paying a request.

With PayPal, standard ACH transfers (next business day if initiated before 7 p.m. EST) are free. PayPal charges a $0.25 fee for instant transfers. If you choose to use a credit or debit card to send money to friends and family on PayPal, the sender will pay a fee of 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction.

If you make payments for goods and services through PayPal, there is no transaction fee. But if you get paid through PayPal for selling something, you will pay a fee of 2.9% plus $0.30 per sale.

International transactions carry fees, and you can look up the fees that may apply to your transaction here, based on the currency.

Other features to note

PayPal supports credit card payments and international transfers, but Popmoney doesn’t.

Popmoney vs. Zelle

Process

Popmoney and Zelle® both transfer funds directly between users’ bank accounts and are built into various online banking systems.

Speed

Zelle transfers are typically instant. It takes longer to transfer money via Popmoney. If a payment is made with a debit card, the recipient will get the funds the next business day if confirmed by 10 p.m. PST. If a sender pays through a bank account, it takes up to three days for the money to be delivered.

Fraud protection

Popmoney said users may be liable for unauthorized transactions if they don’t report in a timely manner. The company also explicitly states the service is not responsible for recovery of misdirected funds.

Similarly, Zelle doesn’t have a robust fraud protection program. Neither Zelle nor the participating financial institutions offer a protection program for any purchase or sale conducted using Zelle — in other words, if you initiate the transfer and mistakenly send it to the wrong person or to a fraudster, Zelle won’t cover you. That’s why Zelle recommends users to send money through Zelle only to people they know. However, Zelle will cover you if your account is hacked and someone makes a fraudulent transfer without your knowledge.

Fees

Payments or requests made through Popmoney cost $0.95 per transaction. There is no charge for receiving money or paying a request. It’s free to transfer money using Zelle.

Popmoney vs. Google Pay

Process

Google Pay Send (app) or Google Pay (online), formerly Google Wallet, allows you to send money directly from your bank account, debit card or your account balance to your recipient’s email address or phone number. You can also request or receive money through Google Pay.

Speed

Money you receive automatically transfers to your default payment method. If you haven’t chosen a default payment method, it goes to your Google Pay balance.

Transfers from or to your Google Pay Send balance or debit card are almost instant .If a sender pays through a bank account, it takes up to three days for the money to be deposited.

Fraud protection

Google Pay offers users better security protection than Popmoney. If you spot a fraud or unauthorized activity on your Google Pay, report it to Google within 120 days of the transaction date. Google may also ask you for more information to determine if a transaction is covered. If you live in the U.S. and have a U.S address linked with your Google Pay, Google Pay Fraud Protection covers 100% of all verified unauthorized transactions, even when you send money to a phone number or non-Gmail address. Google also monitors your account information 24/7 for fraudulent or unauthorized activity.

Fees

Payments or requests made through Popmoney cost $0.95 per transaction. There is no charge for receiving money or paying a request. Transferring money from your Google Pay balance to your linked bank account or debit card is free.

Popmoney vs. Venmo

Process

Venmo withdraws money from the sender’s Venmo balance, if available and sufficient. Otherwise, it debits the sender’s linked bank account or debit card for free, or charges his/her credit card for a fee. The funds will be deposited into the recipient’s Venmo balance. The recipient must separately transfer the funds from their Venmo balance to their bank account.

Speed

With Popmoney, if a payment is made with a debit card, the recipient will get the funds the next business day if confirmed by 10 p.m. PST. If a sender pays through a bank account, it takes up to three days for the money to be delivered.

Venmo transfers go into the recipient’s Venmo balance instantly, but he/she must separately request for the funds to be transferred to his/her bank account. Standard transfers through the ACH network are free, and funds will be deposited in one to three business days. Venmo offers instant transfers through an eligible debit card for $0.25 per request.

Fraud protection

Both services have limited recourse for misdirected or fraudulent payments, and they offer no buyer/seller protection for purchases. Venmo recommends users avoid making payments to people they don't know.

Fees

Payments or requests made through Popmoney cost $0.95 per transaction.

Venmo charges a $0.25 fee for each instant deposit, but standard ACH transfers are free. Venmo also charges a 3% transaction fee for using credit cards.

Other features to note

With Venmo, payments can only be made and received between Venmo users. But Popmoney does not require a recipient to sign up for it.

Popmoney vs. Square Cash

Process

Square Cash is mostly used by merchants or small business owners. The service also lets you send money to people through an app called Cash. You can link your debit or credit card to the app, send money to others using their name, $Cashtag or mobile phone number through the Cash app, or pay online at Cash.me.

Speed

With Popmoney, if a payment is made with a debit card, the recipient will get the funds the next business day if confirmed by 10 p.m. PST. If a sender pays through a bank account, it takes up to three days for the money to be delivered.

Similar to Popmoney, when you receive your first Cash App payment, you’ll be asked to link a bank account or debit card to transfer your money to your account, or you can spend those funds right from your Cash Card. Once you’ve requested the funds to your linked bank account, it will be deposited either instantly (with a fee of 1.5% of the total deposit amount) or within one to three business days (free standard transfers).

Fraud protection

Square Cash offers similar, if not more fraud protection than Popmoney. The Cash App uses the same fraud detection infrastructure and safety standards that monitor Square Point of Sale business transactions. Its detection method helps detect and investigate suspicious activity before fraudulent charges occur. Cash App is also compliant with PCI Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) Level 1, encrypting information of each transaction. However, fraud and scams may occur. Square Cash explicitly said that it will not be responsible for “any damage, loss, or injury resulting from hacking, tampering, or other unauthorized access or use of the services.” But it advised you report suspicious activity right away if you find any unauthorized transactions.

Fees

Payments or requests made through Popmoney cost $0.95 per transaction. There is no charge for receiving money or paying a request.

It’s free to make personal payments through Cash App. When a payment is sent from a credit card, however, the sender pays a 3% transaction fee. For business transactions, the recipient (i.e. the business owner) pays a 2.75% fee. If a user requests money to be deposited to a linked bank account instantly, they will incur a 1.5% fee. But it’s free to deposit funds through standard deposits.

Other features to note

Snapcash is Square Cash’s money transfer service built into Snapchat, a popular social media app. It allows Snapchat users to send money. Popmoney doesn’t work on any social media platforms.

Popmoney vs. Circle

Process

Circle was founded in 2013 by internet entrepreneurs and is backed by $250 million from investors from American and international tech and finance giants, including Goldman Sachs and Baidu. It aims to make person-to-person money transfers easy no matter how far apart the sender and the recipient are. To use the payment service, you add money to your Circle account through a connected bank account or debit card, and Circle withdraws funds from your account balance, if available. You can also send money directly from your linked debit card. Circle deposits funds into the recipient’s Circle balance. The recipient must separately request Circle balance to be transferred their bank account.

Speed

With Popmoney, if a payment is made with a debit card, the recipient will get the funds the next business day if confirmed by 10 p.m. PST. If a sender pays through a bank account, it takes up to three days for the money to be delivered.

You can make an instant transfer on Circle through your linked debit card. Transactions between a bank account and Circle takes one to four business days.

Fraud protection

Compared with Popmoney, which offers very limited recourse for misdirected or unauthorized payments, Circle has a better protection policy. Circle will recover eligible unauthorized transactions and any losses resulting from an error, after investigation, as long as the user reports the unauthorized activity within 60 days.

Like Popmoney, when you log into Circle, you will need a username and password in addition to verifying your login via SMS or email. Users’ personal and financial information at Circle is encrypted, but not by Popmoney.

Fees

Payments or requests made through Popmoney cost $0.95 per transaction. There is no charge for receiving money or paying a request.

Circle charges no fees. But credit cards linked to Circle before the company stopped supporting them may incur a third-party fee when used.

Other features to note

Circle is supported in more than 25 countries outside of the United States, most of which are situated in Europe, but Popmoney is only available in the U.S.

Popmoney vs. Facebook Messenger

Process

Facebook allows users to send or receive money to friends and family via Facebook Messenger by linking their debit card or PayPal account. The funds go to the debit card or PayPal account on file.

Speed

With Popmoney, if a payment is made with a debit card, the recipient will get the funds the next business day if confirmed by 10 p.m. PST. If a sender pays through a bank account, it takes up to three days for the money to be delivered.

Through Facebook Messenger, funds are transferred instantly to people who already have a debit card or Paypal account linked, or have received money through Messenger before. But depending on specific banks and PayPal, it may take up to three to five business days for the money to be deposited.

Fraud protection

Messenger may be a safer choice than Popmoney to transfer money. Your transaction information is encrypted by Facebook. Facebook’s fraud detection infrastructure tracks every payment to help block fraud and recognize when payment information has been stolen. The company promises to work with users to secure his/her account upon occurrence of fraudulent activities. If you don’t receive what you paid for, or you aren’t satisfied with their response, Facebook will work with you to resolve the problem.

Before you send or receive money in messages, Facebook may ask you to provide information, such as your name, date of birth and last four digits of your Social Security number, to verify your identity. Popmoney doesn’t require such identity verification.

Fees

Payments or requests made through Popmoney cost $0.95 per transaction. There is no charge for receiving money or paying a request. Facebook doesn’t charge any fee when users send or receive money in messages.

Other features to note

The Facebook Messenger money-transfer feature is available for users in the U.S., France or the United Kingdom. Popmoney is a U.S.-only payment service.

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