Ally Bank has recently launched four new products last weekend. I did a quick overview of the Ally changes on Sunday. On Monday I focused on Ally's new IRAs, and on Tuesday I focused on Ally's new Raise Your Rate CD. Today I'll focus on Ally's Popmoney, its new person-to-person transfer service.
Unlike ING Direct which developed their own custom person-to-person transfer service, Ally Bank went with Popmoney from CashEdge which is a popular service that's already in use by many financial institutions.
In addition to Popmoney, CashEdge offers bank-to-bank ACH transfer systems for many banks. Ally used to have their own proprietary bank-to-bank transfer service, but last year, they changed their system to CashEdge which was a little disappointing.
A proprietary bank-to-bank ACH transfer service may have an advantage over CashEdge, but for person-to-person transfers, a non-proprietary system like Popmoney is likely to be better. First, since many banks use Popmoney, it's more likely that both the sender and recipient will both have banks with Popmoney. This makes it easier for the recipient to receive the money. They just need to log into their online bank account. Second, Popmoney has made the money sending process easy. You don't need any of the recipient's account number. ING Direct requires the last four digits of recipient's account number if they're not ING Direct customers.
Ally Bank's blog Straight Talk has a new post describing how Ally Popmoney works. If you log in to your Ally account, you'll notice a new option in your "transfer funds" page. The new option is for moving money "Between your Ally accounts and other people". When you click on that option, a page describing Popmoney will be shown. According to this page, it's a free service in which you can "send money to anyone in the U.S. using their email address, mobile phone number or bank account information." For a recipient who doesn't have an Ally account, they "will be notified that you sent money and they will be directed to popmoney.com/ally to learn how to receive it. Money sent to a bank account will be automatically deposited." For those with an Ally account, you shouldn't have to worry about going to popmoney.com. You just log into your Ally account.
Here's a summary of the limitations and features of Ally's Popmoney. Most of these I received from an Ally Bank representative.
- No fees to send or receive
- Available to checking, savings and money market customers (6 per month withdrawal limit applies to savings and MMA)
- Minimum payment that can be sent: $1
- Maximum payment that can be sent: $1,000 per transfer, with a maximum of $2,500 "in motion" at any one time.
- Transfer time for sending to another Ally Bank customer: one business day
- Transfer time for sending to a non-Ally Bank customer: up to 3 business days
- Payment will expire after 10 days if the payment isn't claimed
In my post from last year, you can see how this service compares with person-to-person payment services from ING Direct, FNBO Direct and UnivestDirect.
One thing that Ally still needs is mobile banking. That will make Popmoney easy enough to use for paying a friend for lunch or paying a babysitter.