E-mail Me the Money

FRAMINGHAM (03/08/2000) - In a move aimed at helping people send and receive money faster, Bank One Corp. today introduced eMoneyMail, a person-to-person e-mail payment system.

The Chicago-based bank said customers in the U.S. can use the service to send up to $500 in cash at one time. Customers don't need to have a Bank One account to participate in eMoneyMail - an e-mail address and a checking account with either a U.S. bank or Visa credit card will suffice, Bank One said. Funds can be sent to and from accounts in any U.S. financial institution.

Users can go to www.emoneymail.com to send money, choosing from three methods to send money: Visa credit card, Visa debit card or checking account. They enter the receiver's e-mail address and the amount to be sent, and the recipient receives an e-mail message that the money has been sent. Recipients click on an attachment with a link to www.emoneymail.com and indicate if they want to receive the money through Visa credit or debit card, checking account or paper check sent by regular mail.

Money that is sent to Visa credit or debit cards is available immediately, but funds from a checking account won't appear for three to four business days. The option for paper checks is coming soon, but Bank One didn't elaborate a time frame.

There is a $1 charge to send money, and a $1 fee charged to paper check recipients.

Although the online money transfer service will use 128-bit encryption security, Bank One still faces security concerns and challenges in moving consumers to an electronic payment system, said David Potterton, an analyst at Newton, Mass.-based Meridien Research Inc.

"Historically, these programs haven't taken off because most consumers in the U.S. are tied to credit cards" for convenience, Potterton said. They haven't had a compelling reason to switch from paper to electronic payments.

But eMoneyMail may work because money can be sent to debit cards, which are growing 20% in overall usage, Potterton said.

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