Americans with Visa cards will soon be able to transfer money to any other Visa account worldwide, just by entering the amount, the recipient's card number and an email address. The service isn't unprecedented - Visa already offers something similar in several countries. However, the US roll-out has the scale and branding to …
If this undercuts Swift it is most welcome
The 25 quid per transaction was appropriate in the days when banking systems were not interconnected to the point they are now.
There is no way for a 25 quid fee to be justified to wire money from a EU country to EU country in this day and age.
Within the euro zone, bank transfers may cost no more than a transfer within one country. At least for consumers, and for plenty of them that means "free". The catch is that you now need the /international bank account number/ (IBAN, printed on your statement) and the bank code (BIC/SWIFT code). Don't know about to/fro Blighty though.
I think the UK banks escape the SEPA regulations as they oblige that payments in currency X to country y must be charged the same as payments in currency X to your home country.
Therefore they argue that if you're sending EUR, SEPA doesn't apply.
Our family has roots in Canada and the Philippines, so we have had to transfer money from Canada to the Philippines on various occassions. In the Philippines, one can find an ATM with the correct network decals and withdraw Peso cash (P20,000 in P100s, LOL) from a Canadian bank account. Western Union can send money from A to B, but they charge a hefty fee. There are numerous other companies doing the same thing for slightly less fee. Most banks can perform a 'wire transfer' (account to account) for next-to-nothing in fees (maybe $30 fee on an $8K transfer, a nice option).
"the first step towards getting rid of the metal slices and bits of paper we all carry around these days."
Unlikely to disappear, we need cash for the little things in life -- like making sure the tip goes in the pocket of the person who waited on your table (hopefully), the trips to the corner shop where you don't quite have enough for a loaf and some tinnies and bring in the rest later.
And those transactions that are not (yet) taxable or have duty on them.
You can't haggle with plastic as easy as you can with folding stuff.
It's not going to get rid of cash...
... but it might (finally) be a viable alternative to cheques. Devil in the detail and all that, especially thew security aspect
The problem with cheques
is the time it takes them to clear. Otherwise they're pretty versatile. Amazing how all "innovation" here is about putting cards or fancy handsets in the hands of the consumers instead of speeding up cheque handling or otherwise taking the concept of ordering your bank to give someone else money and making that quick & efficient. The rub is, of course, that taking out the middle men won't just speed up the process and cost less, it would also cut out the middle men, costing entirely superfluous jobs. Oh noes!
What, you still use cheques where you live?
I wish I did.
The replacements are too limited in their own very special way. It seems that the more we see electronic payment systems that can do less than cash and cheques combined, the more we also see talk of that myriad of highly complex systems soon to cause complete abolishment of cash entirely. I also note that the small print has changed decidedly to the banks' favour to the customer's detriment.
We really should be a bit more critical of the financial services we use. They are, collectively if not individually, critical to our well-being, after all.
So if I give someone my card number they might pay ME some money instead of taking my money?
Why don't they just go back to money-in-a-shoebox - on the kerbside, so at least we can see who is taking the money
If they could do this a little more reliably than the article sounds it could wipe out paypal. Yes!
You have received a gift of FREE MONEY! To claim your prize just send us your Visa card number and email address. Oh and expiry date and security code please too.
We'll DEFINITELY only use these details to put money IN your account, honest.
Service already available for many years in Canada
Here in Canada it has always been possible to pay money directly to anyone else's credit card using online banking bill payment. Even here I think most people have never realized it, because the online bill-payment service is ostensibly for pay your own credit card bill. However there is no check on who owns the credit card account number you are paying, so it serves very well as a zero-cost way to transfer small amounts of money from one person to another.
Beware ... it's coming ! :-)
“He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16-17
Between this, and Google's NFC technology, I'm getting worried ;-)
Next thing we'll all be getting barcodes on our arm .... that should speed up supermarket queues considerably...
Also, don't forget about implanted RFID tags, already being tried in several countries (ie. Mexico).
The end of cash is also the end of anonymity. Frightening, indeed.
There are alternatives to this VISA e-mail thing
If anyone is interested in a completely anonymous peer-to-peer payment system that does not require any intermediaries at all, then I recommend you google the words BitCoin and BTC.
Square peg: Round hole.
Something tells me this is the start of the duopoly killing other P2P payment systems.
Goodbye PayPal ...
Draft Media Release re PayPal
“It is with great sadness that eBay’s Chief Headless Turkey, John Queeg-Donahoe, announces the probable eventual demise of eBay’s most ugly daughter, PayPal. Donahoe says that PayPal is likely to be stricken by particularly virulent strains of Visa/Mastercard P2P, and these afflictions are greatly aggravated by PayPal’s insurmountable lack of direct financial institutions support and a great deal of PayPal merchant dissatisfaction, particularly with respect to PayPal’s grossly unfair, “all responsibility avoiding” user agreement, primitive risk management processes, and grossly unprofessional, buyer-biased and fraud-facilitating (indeed, apparently non existent) transactions mediation, to name just a few of the problems that PayPal “merchant” payees have to endure.
“Donahoe says that PayPal’s health may therefore be expected to deteriorate and, if ultimately not completely incapacitated, will most likely be eventually confined to its mandatory offering on what little there will be, by then, left of the Donahoe-devastated eBay marketplaces. There is no cure for this condition and the “eBafia Don” is particularly saddened by the inevitable presumption that it is unlikely that PayPal will be able to continue to underpin eBay’s sagging bottom line too far into the future.”
Yes, it’s a send-up but, still, it accurately describes PayPal’s unregulated, most unprofessional and “clunky” operation. Had the developers of the original “bankcard” concept ever behaved the way PayPal behaves, towards its payees in particular, credit/debit cards would never have gotten off the ground, and we would still be paying for all our purchases with bits of paper and little metal discs.
PayPal is not a “bank”, and is not prudentially regulated as are the banks. PayPal has been forced down the throats of eBay merchants, much to their distaste. Without eBay’s mandating the use of PayPal it would be nothing and, regardless, it still is the most unprofessional, unscrupulous, incompetent, wire fraud-facilitating payments processor on the planet.
No one with even a minimum of brain cells functioning would ever allow PayPal to draw funds directly from their bank account; only from their retail bank-branded Visa/Mastercard credit card account; that is the only way to get any effective transaction mediation—and then not from PayPal but from your retail bank via their credit card transaction-mediation process.
All the payments processors that do not have the direct underlying risk-managing and real transaction-mediation support of the financial institutions (the “banks”) that are ultimately involved at either end of each transaction—as does the likes of Visa/Mastercard—suffer all the same handicaps that PayPal suffers. The “banks” may be disliked by some but they at least supply a “professional” payments processing service.
Undoubtedly, if and when the banks decide they want to take on the greater risk and extra work undoubtedly involved with such payments processing as PayPal offers to the many “unprofessional” merchants, and they offer a like simple, but more professional, online system via Visa/Mastercard, the clunky PayPal will very quickly disappear into the history books.
Enron / eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.