By Mohammed Waseem
Bank to bank transfers generally happen at a bank level and not many third parties take part in them. Popmoney, operated by CashEdge and CheckFreePay Corporation, subsidiaries of Fiserv; is a person to person payments service which works with banks to enable transfers from one bank to another.
Popmoney stands for (P)ay (O)ther (P)eople (Money). Users can access Popmoney from the participating banks’ websites or directly from their website. They aim at displacing traditional check payments and to some extent cash as well, as they mention on their website. They have tie-ups with over 1700 banks and financial institutions in the United States. The service is available only to the residents of the US, for transfers within the US only.
Popmoney enables users to initiate payments from an Eligible Transaction Account to an account at a US financial institution, and to receive payments into the Eligible Transaction Account, in US dollars or gift card value. Amount is debited to the sender’s account as soon as the payment is initiated and it is remitted into the recipient’s account within 1-3 business days.
There are limits to how much money can be transferred, but it differs individually and can be viewed after having logged in. In general, for sending money, debit cards are limited to a debit of $500 per day and $1000 per 30 days; while, bank accounts are limited to $2000 per day and $5000 per 30 days. For requesting payments, the daily limit is $1000 and the monthly limit is $2500. When paying a request, daily limit of $2500 and monthly limit of $4000 apply. The fee in all cases is $0.95, while paying a request is free of charge.
In addition to one time payments, recurring payments can also be setup. Money can be sent in three different ways; either direct transfer to the Eligible Transaction Account through the account number and the routing number, or by email instructing the recipient on how to direct the payments into his/her Eligible Transaction Account, or by SMS with similar instructions.
Popmoney is a good service for small amount transfers within the US, but for international payments, one has to look elsewhere. It works in similar lines with PayPal, but limited to the US. In terms of convenience, security and charges, this service is quite good.