If you’ve ever ordered pizza delivery with friends, but none of you have cash, you know that quickly splitting the tab can be difficult, especially if you don’t use an online payment company like Venmo or Square Cash.
While these companies, and others like them, make it easy to instantly transfer money to almost anyone with a bank account, traditional banks have been behind the curve in offering similar services. Until now.
JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and other banks recently began upgrading their online payment services, making instant money transfers — even to those who bank at other institutions — far easier and with no added cost, reports the Associated Press.
These and other banks already had online services in place that allowed customers to send money to anyone with a phone number or email address several years ago. But until last year, customers could only send money to another customer at the same bank. Sending money to another bank’s customer required a wire transfer, which can cost an average of $30.
When the option to send money to a person who uses a different bank became available last year, it typically took up to three days to complete. Venmo and Square Cash, on the other hand, were offering the same service, open to anyone with a debit card, in as little as one business day.
Banks are now changing all of that.
“This is what our customers have been asking for,” Jason Alexander, head of digital platforms for Chase, said in an interview with the Associated Press.
Chase, the nation’s largest bank by assets and the largest bank operator of person-to-person payment services, is rolling out its upgrade to Chase QuickPay next month, the Associated Press reported. Likewise, Wells Fargo is launching its service in July. Bank of America customers have had the ability since March, but only between them and U.S. Bank — these banks were the only two with the necessary software upgrades at the time, according to the Associated Press.
The instant payments between these big banks come with a limitation: the instant payments will only occur between banks on the same network, called clearXchange, the Associated Press reported. The network includes Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and U.S. Bank, Capital One and Colorado-based FirstBank. That network represents 60% of all U.S. mobile banking customers, a Chase spokesman told the Associated Press.
A Growing Area of Banking
Users of Venmo sent $1 billion in payments in the month of January this year, up from $100 million in the same month in 2014, the Associated Press reported. In comparison, Chase customers now send $20 billion a year using QuickPay. Wells Fargo customers send $10 billion over its service SurePay.
Mobile payments, particularly when people are splitting a bill, reached a level where Venmo users are using the pizza emoji every 20 seconds when sending money to each other, according to the Associated Press report.
Splitting the tab with friends makes sense, but if your friends are spending more than you can afford, it could ultimately land you in some serious debt. Here are some ways to tell your big spender pals that you are making some changes with your money and budget.
The best way to know what you can afford is to create a budget — but this only works when you stick to it. Running up high credit card bills or running out of money because of nights out or vacations simply is not worth it — and getting into debt can hurt your credit. (You can see how your debt is affecting your credit by pulling your free credit report summary on Credit.com.)
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