Even though technology has come a long way and at most banks it is easy to pay your bills directly from your online banking solution, paying other individuals -- even at the same institution -- has been a pain. A new service called ZashPay from Fiserv aims to make paying friends and family simple, without the need for third party tools like PayPal. Person to person payments, like those ZashPay will enable, are expected to total $1.35 trillion in 2010, according to the Tower Group.
When it launches later this month at participating financial institutions, users will be able to send money to their friends and family using the same tools they are already familiar with for paying their bills. This integration with existing banking accounts and bill-pay solutions is what sets the service apart from third party person-to-person payment tools like PayPal and it's this "seamless" experience. Steve Shaw, FiServ's director of strategic marketing for electronic banking services, told WalletPop in a phone interview that he hopes this will draw users to the service.
To use ZashPay, users will only need to know the name or e-mail address of the person they want to pay. Depending on the financial institution there may be a small fee -- about the cost of a stamp -- to make a ZashPay payment. The recipient will receive a message that they have received a payment and the money will be automatically deposited without any fee deducted. If your recipient isn't already a ZashPay member, he can sign up by following the instructions in a notification e-mail and can claim the money through ZashPay.com.
"Having ZashPay as part of an existing online banking offering will make users more likely to stay within ZashPay than venture out to use PayPal (or others) for P2P payments," Andy Schmidt, an analyst with Tower Group told WalletPop in an e-mail. "However, there will always be a dedicated group of users that use PayPal for all their P2P payments, especially when it comes to eBay purchases."
While I will still use a service like PayPal to handle online purchases and payments to people I don't know offline, ZashPay, or a similar service, would make a great way to cover my half of the purchase price for a Father's Day gift or to reimburse a co-worker who banks at a ZashPay enabled bank.
Take the first steps to building your portfolio.View Course »