While home for summer break, my 20-year old college student daughter recently made a visit to our dentist. She was slightly confused when they asked her to (gasp!) make a payment for services rendered. Turns out she had a procedure done that was not fully covered by insurance. Luckily she had a credit card with her. It was actually her personal card as she is working diligently on establishing credit through Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU). She used her own savings account to get a cash-secured card. She knows she needs to use it to establish a track record but she is a bundle of nerves if she has a balance on it (I only wish my 19-year old felt the same way!). My point here is that she used her credit card to pay the $151 fee and she promptly called me to let me know that they “made” her pay for this. The next day she headed back to college to work on a summer project so I couldn’t get her to deposit a check at NFCU and I needed to figure out how to pay down her credit card. She and I both have accounts at NFCU but I don’t have access to her credit card. She and I both have an account with Big Bank but it isn’t easy to get $ transferred over to NFCU from there. So I ended up writing a check off my account at Big Bank, then using my Online Deposit Voucher from NFCU. NFCU allows you to make an online deposit just by entering the info on their website and forwarding the check in a special envelope. This allowed me to deposit it into my checking account at NFCU and two days later I went online and transferred it from my NFCU checking account to my daughter’s NFCU savings account, which I could do because I am a joint owner. She could then turn around and do an online transfer from her NFCU savings account to her NFCU credit card to paid for the dental visit. It seems convoluted but anything I can do from the comfort of my big home office chair is preferrable to running around town to stand in line to make a deposit.
Given that whole pain-in-the-rear scenario, I was very interested in a service I came across in my blog-surfing. It was about a P2P (person to person) service called POPmoney (Pay Other People) and despite the fact that it has been around for about 2 years, I had not heard of it. It is provided by a company called CashEdge and apparently a lot of banks have made this service available to their customers. POPmoney works by doing two payment transactions: The first is an ACH debit (electronic withdrawal) out of the sending consumer’s account, and the second is an ACH credit (electronic deposit) to the recipient’s account. CashEdge is able to monitor and mitigate the risks involved with such transactions. The best part about the service is that the only thing the sender needs to know is the email address or the mobile phone number of the recipient. Once the payment is sent, the recipient will get an email or text message stating “you’ve received funds from (name).” They will then be directed to go to their bank or the POPmoney.com hub to collect the payment.
So….if my bank offered POPmoney, getting that dang dentist bill would have been a lot quicker and a lot easier.