About Ken Tumin

Ken Tumin founded the Bank Deals Blog in 2005 and has been passionately covering the best deposit deals ever since. He is frequently referenced by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications as a top expert, but he is first and foremost a fellow deal seeker and member of the wonderful community of savers that frequents DepositAccounts.

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Review of Person-to-Person Payment Services from ING Direct, FNBO Direct & UnivestDirect


More banks are starting to offer person-to-person (P2P) payment services which allow you to send money to anyone with a US-based bank account using just an email address. These services are similar to PayPal but they have an advantage in that you don't need to use PayPal as the middle man to transfer money. You can send money directly from your bank account. Also, these services don't require the recipient to have an account at the money transfer service.

ING Direct

ING Direct has offered its Person2Person Payment service starting when it launched the Electric Orange Account in November 2006. As you would expect from ING Direct, it's a free service. You can send payment to a person who has a checking or savings account from another US-based bank.

One major issue I have with ING Direct's service is that the sender must have the bank account number of the recipient. The account number, routing number, name and email address must be entered into ING Direct's service by the sender. I suspect many people would not feel comfortable in providing their account number unless the person is a close friend or family member. Here is what ING Direct says about this concern in its Person2Person Payment FAQ

Remind your friends and family every time they wrote a check in the past, they were disclosing their account number, even if they didn't realize it. It's at the bottom of the check. Plus, unlike a paper check that touches many hands before being deposited, a Person2Person Payment is a secure, direct transfer between you and your friend.

This seems reasonable, but it may not convince the recipient.

Summary of ING Direct's Person2Person Payment service:

  • No fees to send or receive
  • Requires recipient's bank account number
  • Payment is limited to $5,000 per transaction and per day
  • Payment to an account outside of ING Direct takes up to 2 bank business days to post after the recipient confirms his/her account information
  • Payment will expire after 45 days

Update 5/11/2011: ING Direct added a new feature to make it easier for checking account customers with iPhones to pay each other. According to its press release, "Bump Person2Person Payment technology that allows Electric Orange Checking account Customers with iPhones to instantly and securely send money to one another."

FNBO Direct

FNBO Direct started offering its P2P payment service, called POPmoney, in January of this year. POPmoney is a service provided by CashEdge. If you do a lot of online banking, you're probably familiar with CashEdge. Many online banks use their transfer service that allows customers to initiate ACH transfers to and from their other bank accounts. The nice thing about POPmoney is that it's being adopted by other banks. One major bank is PNC. If the recipient's bank offers POPmoney, they'll be able to receive the payment just by logging into their bank account. Otherwise, they'll need to accept the payment through POPmoney.com where they need to provide POPmoney their bank account and routing numbers. This leads to the other nice aspect of POPmoney that differentiates it from ING Direct's service. The sender does not need the recipient's bank account number.

Update 5/11/2011: The standard 3-day ACH delivery is now free. The one downside to FNBODirect's POPmoney is that it's not free. There is a $2.00 standard fee for 3 day ACH delivery There is a $10.00 express delivery fee for next day transfers. I noticed that it wasn't free when I received FNBO Direct's email today notifying me that the use of POPmoney will be free in March.

Summary of FNBO Direct's POPmoney Payment service:

  • Free for standard 3-day ACH delivery or a $10.00 express delivery fee for next day transfers (3-day delivery used to cost $2)
  • Does not require recipient's bank account number
  • minimum amount that you may transfer in any one transaction is $10.00. In addition, you may not transfer more than: (i) $1,000 from your account in any one transaction; (ii) 10 transactions on any one business day; or, (iii) $5,000 from your account in any one month.
  • FNBO Direct will return any unclaimed, refunded or denied payment within 30 days of the date you initiate payment


The internet bank, UnivestDirect, may not be as popular as ING Direct, but it provides many of the same services with similar rates. Like ING Direct, UnivestDirect offers an online savings and checking accounts that have no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. Also, like ING Direct, UnivestDirect offers a free ACH bank-to-bank transfer service. The one advantage UnivestDirect has over ING Direct is that they allow paper checks.

UnivestDirect's Person-to-Person Payment service has two of the best features of the other two: 1) like ING Direct the service is free, and 2) like FNBO Direct the recipient does not need to give the sender his/her bank account number. When you send payment through UnivestDirect, the recipient will receive an email with a link that points to the website where they will enter their bank account info. I was a little worried about this since phishing attempts are so prevalent. However, I was told that the email will include the sender's name, email address and phone number. In addition, the recipient should be expecting a payment from the sender, so that should put the recipient's mind at ease.

Summary of UnivestDirect's P2P Payment service

  • Free to all personal Univest deposit account holders
  • Does not require recipient's bank account number
  • Maximum of $2,500 per transfer
  • Transaction Completed On Next Business Day
  • All P2P transfer requests expire after 15 calendar days following the date of the original request (money never leaves sender's account)

Value of Person-to-Person Payment Services?

Have you used a person-to-person payment service from your bank? Do you find it a valuable service? Or do you prefer using PayPal, online bill pay or just a plain old paper check?

One thing to note about paper checks is that your account number is on the check.  As mentioned in ING Direct's FAQ, the check can touch many hands before it's deposited.

Related Pages: FNBO Direct, Denver, Cheyenne
  |     |   Comment #1
Yes, no more postage stamps or delay. But one thing that would help is if the sender's bank did not subtract the amount sent, UNTIL the receiver deposits the electronic/paper check.                                       
  |     |   Comment #2
I've had good luck with ING's, although it is a pain how you need to enter their account number and routing number. They should replace it with some sort of PIN system, it would be a lot better.
  |     |   Comment #3
It seems that ING puts a hold on incoming funds therefore you cannot use the service until you have clear funds in your ING account.
  |     |   Comment #4
Can anyone comment on the speed of ING Direct Person2Person payments? I sent a payment from my ING account to my own account at SunTrust to test the system out, and 1 week later, still no sign of the payment on the receiving end and no notice of a bounce or anything on the sending end. Not sure what the problem is, but a good lesson to not assume the payment will be speedy until you've tested it first.
  |     |   Comment #5
I've been banking with ING for years and have a savings, business account, and electricorange account for sending checks / or electronic payments. I was rather excited when i read about their persontoperson service, but have not used it yet because it requires the sender to know your name and account number. I wanted to use this service for a variety of online small businesses, but I am not interested in posting these online.

I frankly see no reason why ING can not modify their system to instead allow users to use a unique user name in place of their name and account number. Since noone else at ING could have the same user name the money can only go the right person. All a person would need to send money would be the receiver's email, username, and ING's routing number.

There is frankly NO way I will use PayPal. Its free pass to steal items. Back in the day when I sold on eBay (I was at PowerSeller status for while) I would get orders from buyers wh paid with PayPal - once they knew their order was in the mail they would simply cancel their payment - no chargeback here - simply cancel their payment as it was based on funds already in their account. You know what eBay told me - lol - they said this was not technically possible with their safeguards. They have no safeguards - they can't even safely lie. And then there is chargeback fraud - sorry I won't accept any credit card payments from anyone.
Bob Smith
  |     |   Comment #6
Since all that's required is an account number and routing number, couldn't these services be used to transfer money to a business or corporate account? I'm not sure you can tell just from the account number that the recipient isn't a natural person.
  |     |   Comment #8
ING now uses a secure form for the recipient to fill in his own account information. All that is required for the sender to know is the last four digits of the recipient's account.  The last four digits of the receiving account must match.
  |     |   Comment #9
I think it is crazy to send money this way. If i recieved an email saying someone has sent me money and please click the link only to be redirected to enter my bank information/personal information to recieve money into my account I would mark it as spam! 

nowadays too many fraudelent emails are sent where they direct you to click a link and fill out information what a stupid way to do it. 

It should be done via your online bank once you have logged in using the recipients name, routing number, account number, branch name, and branch address and sent direct to the bank. nothing to do with email or accepting email payments.

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