Back to Courier Columns Page

by Ray Carlson

Q. When I need to transfer money quickly to my daughter who lives in another city, can I use the Internet?

A. Yes. Many banks now allow free online transfers if both parties have accounts with that bank. Check your bank's website for details and limits.

Paypal is widely recognized as a fast, safe way to make Internet-based purchases and money transfers. This service requires that the giver and recipient create Paypal accounts. Transfers between individuals are free if both parties have their accounts linked to banks. If a credit or debit card is used, there is a fee of 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction. Paypal can be used with non-U.S. accounts, but the fees are higher. The limit is $10,000.

Google Wallet is a competitor requiring both parties to use Gmail. Its fee for credit or debit card is 2.9% with bank transfers free. The limit is the highest, $10,000 per transaction and $50,000 per week. Venmo uses email, smartphone or Facebook accounts to transfer money and includes social networking. It charges 3% for credit cards but nothing if a debit card or bank account is used. The limit is $3,000 per week.

The newest alternative is Square Cash which was developed by Square, a growing credit card processing company. The Square Cash transaction is made by a simple email message, but it only uses debit cards. There is no fee. To protect you from hackers, an email is sent alerting you to any transfer. If you indicate a payment was fraudulent, they will cancel or reverse it. If you provide certain personal information, the limit is $2,500 per week. The recipient does not need to register. These last three services are limited to the United States.

Other services are being tested, but are any of these services safe? So far. If you have questions, come to the next General Meeting of the Prescott Computer Society in the Prescott Library at 1PM on June 14.

Published: Courier 5/18/14 - Page 4C