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Sending money directly from A to B?
July 19, 2012 6:42 AM   Subscribe

Best way to make monthly payments between two people in the US that requires no manual effort each month, and has minimal fees? They both have checking accounts.
posted by smackfu to Work & Money (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
My bank's online bill-paying system has a "recurring bill" option where I just plug in the address and amount and they send a check every month.
posted by griphus at 6:45 AM on July 19, 2012


Ideally cashing a check would also not be required. It's 2012 dammit.
posted by smackfu at 6:47 AM on July 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


What banks do they have?
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:48 AM on July 19, 2012


i have used wepay to coordinate monthly payments before. if you link a bank account instead of a credit card they charge a flat $0.50 fee.
posted by phil at 6:50 AM on July 19, 2012


Local bank and local credit union.

(This may not actually be possible, and we'll just use my bank's "send a check" bill payment option.)
posted by smackfu at 6:50 AM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Many banks have a Paypal like feature that allows you to send payments electronically. Poke around your banks website.
posted by COD at 6:50 AM on July 19, 2012


My last tenant had her rent ACH'd to my account each month. She had to split it into two payments to avoid fees (I know this because she asked my permission to pay her rent in installments) but I was fine with that. She also had to have my account/routing number, but that was already on the back of her cashed checks, so that was okay with me, too. I forget which bank she had (it was a national consumer bank) and mine was USAA (also a national consumer bank). She walked into her bank, said "please set up two recurring monthly transfers of $x and $y between my account and this account on the first and fifth of the month." and they said "ok". No action was required on my part.

Have you talked to a teller at your bank?
posted by crush-onastick at 6:54 AM on July 19, 2012


I think you can link a Paypal account to any US checking account and just transfer the money that way, as a "gift" or whatever so that no one has to pay fees.
posted by jabes at 6:55 AM on July 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


ACH payments. It takes a day to get there and there are maximum amounts per day that can be sent to any one account. I have seen it as an option in Citibank, Bank of America and used ACH for large monthly payments for our commissioned employees through Chase. It is a routine process for all US banks. You may have to do the initial setup either in person or over the phone, but if the monthly payments are the same amount every month, it should be doable from any bank or credit union.

Or, what crush-onastick said.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:10 AM on July 19, 2012


If you do go with the bank-mails-a-check option, I think all the major banks these days allow mobile check deposits under $1000. (You just take a picture with your smartphone and upload it through the bank's app.) It's not as smooth as a direct wire (which might be possible for certain banks), but it will eliminate the need to actually go into a bank.
posted by phunniemee at 7:10 AM on July 19, 2012


Can both people get an account at the same bank? Transfers within a bank are usually free and instant, as compared to ACH which often has a fee and takes a few days.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:13 AM on July 19, 2012


I transfer money to pay someone directly into their account every month. I just went to my bank (PNCs) "transfer money" section, and then chose "outside PNC", and it was no problem. And no fees. I think it takes 24 hours to show up in her account.
posted by dpx.mfx at 7:32 AM on July 19, 2012


dpx.mfx: "I transfer money to pay someone directly into their account every month. I just went to my bank (PNCs) "transfer money" section, and then chose "outside PNC", and it was no problem. And no fees. I think it takes 24 hours to show up in her account."

That is an ACH payment.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:14 AM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


When I use my bank's Bill Pay they do send a check - but along with it they send info so the recipient can opt into electronic transfers in the future. If you set the payment up as recurring and they opt in you're all set.
posted by BlahLaLa at 8:19 AM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like Chase QuickPay.
posted by jcatus at 8:36 AM on July 19, 2012


I use the recurring payment feature in my online banking, but it sends the check to the recipient's bank-- I have included in the memo field something like "for deposit to" [the deposit account number]. Have the recipient, or you, call the recipient's bank, and find out what they would require for this process to work.

It can take a few days from the date the check is mailed (we're both in Washington state, so naturally the check is mailed from Ohio to Virginia), and perhaps can take as many as 6 days to process if there's any kind of intervening weekend or bank hiccup, holiday, etc. Usually more like 3.

Point being, I pay around the 1st, and he checks his bank around the 15th to see if it showed up. That gives me time to restore the funds and try again if the automatic payment fails because my checking account's low. (But at that point, I call to let the recip know that it'll be later than usual.)
posted by Sunburnt at 8:45 AM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Venmo (iPhone app) does this from checking account to checking account.
posted by samthemander at 8:40 PM on July 19, 2012


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