Person-To-Person Banking Becoming Easier For Customers

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — You can now use your smartphone to settle up the dinner check or pay the babysitter or person who mows your lawn.

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As CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson reported, person-to-person payments are the latest craze in mobile banking.

“Banking is turning into a companion activity,” said Gavin Michael, head of digital for Chase Bank. “You’re doing it while you’re out and about, while you’re doing other things, while you’re living your life.”

Customers can use their phones to send payments directly to someone else’s bank account. Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citibank and Chase all have such mobile banking programs.

“We have a product called Quick Pay, which allows you to exchange money, send or receive with virtually anyone with a mobile number and an email address,” Michael said.

Banks have made it easy to enroll. You need a valid bank account and to designate a payee with the required information.

“Customers are busy,” said Stacey Coyne, vice president of digital channel for Rockland Trust. “They are working seven days a week. We want to make sure the mobile technology is available to them when they need it — 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

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Previously, the only option for direct mobile payments were services such as Google Wallet or PayPal. Those services are free when linked directly to a bank account, but fees are often applied when using a credit card.

“We don’t charge you to send funds or receive funds, and it’s secure,” Michael said. “So you don’t have to show your details, and you don’t see the other person’s details.”

Accounts can be password protected so if you lose your phone, you won’t lose your money, too.

Bruce Spitzer of the Bankers Association said the banking industry was purposely been slow moving into the mobile space.

“Examiners are looking over their shoulder to make sure banks are doing it correctly to protect customers’ security, so that’s not a bad thing,” he said.

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