…at least the ones with Canadian bank accounts.
My bank is now on the “email money transfer” bandwagon!
The way it works is this:
I make an “email transfer” from my bank’s online banking screen. I pay $1.50 and this withdraws the money. I provide the recipient’s name and address and pose a security question that only they can answer.
The recipient gets a message directing them to a web page belonging to an outfit called CertaPay (http://www.certapay.com/). CertaPay is hooked up to all the big banks. The recipient can choose what bank to deposit the money to.
The big banks have connected the system to their online banking screens as well; if the recipient chooses that option, the recipient’s browser goes straight to their online banking screen, and they can answer the security question, choose the account, and deposit the money right away.
If the recipient does not have online banking or is not at a bank that has online banking, CertaPay can deposit the money to any bank account in the country, for an additional $2.50 fee.
The money and security-information transfers take place within the regular mechanisms of the national banking system, not by email. The email is only a notification.
If you try to collect the transfer twice, it won’t let you (this is good). If you do not collect the trasfer at all, it expires after thirty days, and the money is re-credited to the sender. The service charge, once paid, is non-refundable, of course.
This system is good. I tested it by moving ten bucks from my RBC account to my TD Canada Trust account, and it works immediately and beautifully. I can now fill my savings account through my computer, inseat of having to go to one bank, withdraw cash, cross the street, go to the other bank, and deposit it.
Once I had to send 2000 dollars to a friend up north; I had to take a few hours off, go to the bank branch, and pay $25 to make a “wire transfer”. Later, she had to do the same thing in reverse. I could do this now for less than a twentieth of the cost and with much less aggravation.
CertaPay is talking about taking this system international as well.
Sometimes the banks do do things right.