credit & debt

Easier Ways to Send Cash Fast

More banks and credit unions are offering peer-to-peer payments.

Zapping money to your coworker or cousin with a click of a button is nothing new. But over the next year, more than 30 credit unions and banks will be rolling out a new service, Zelle, which provides an even faster way to transfer cash. If you have a checking account at one of the par­ticipating banks—which include Bank of America, Chase, Citibank, TD Bank, and Wells Fargo—you can use the bank’s mobile app to send and receive money to and from customers of other in-network banks in minutes, rather than waiting a day or more for the funds to clear. So far, no major institutions are charging fees. Zelle is also working on a stand-alone app that will allow almost anyone with a MasterCard or Visa debit card to send money instantly.

Other apps are on the instant-transfer bandwagon, too. Google Wallet typically sends money to your bank account in minutes if a debit card is your default payment method, with no fee. PayPal and Venmo are introducing instant transfers to your bank account with a debit card for a 25 cent fee.Speed may not be your primary concern. For large payments, consider using PayPal (up to $10,000 per transaction if you verify your identity) or Google Wallet (up to $9,999). If your recipient is wary of logging in to a payment app, try Square Cash: He or she must provide only a debit card number to accept payment through a PC browser. Social media aficionados should check out Venmo, which shows interactions among your friends on Venmo’s feed (secure details, including payment amounts, are not visible). Apple devotees will be able to make peer-to-peer payments through iMessage later this year.

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