Best way to do an ACH transfer to another person?
September 27, 2019 2:38 PM   Subscribe

My new landlord prefers rent payments via "direct deposit", by which I believe he means direct ACH transfer. Apparently his other tenants manage this just fine, but my bank doesn't allow me to do direct-to-bank ACH transfer unless it's between accounts that I own. What is the best way to make a direct transfer to his account that is not a wire transfer and doesn't require him to sign up for something (like Zelle) in order to receive the money?
posted by rhiannonstone to Work & Money (21 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I hit post before I realized I wanted to add: I am open to switching banks to a bank that supports this and is also good for other reasons.
posted by rhiannonstone at 2:39 PM on September 27, 2019

I use Bank of America to do this. ACh either one day or three days. Three days costs much less, $3. One day costs $10. I go from BoA to Chase with my rent payments
posted by AugustWest at 2:43 PM on September 27, 2019

TransferWise does this.
posted by holgate at 2:46 PM on September 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

Look for banks with bill pay - it is free and let’s you send recurring payments to a person or a company. My bank (huntington) offers it, but many, many other banks do too.
posted by Aranquis at 4:24 PM on September 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

Zelle will do bank-to-bank transfers in close to real time for free. Your banks probably already have it!
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 4:26 PM on September 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the suggestions so far!

Re: bill pay, my bank and most other major banks I've looked at have it, but only mail-a-check payments are supported unless there's an associated eBill from a supported vendor.

Re: Zelle, I see that it supports bank-to-bank transfers, but from everything I've read it looks like my landlord would have to have a Zelle account already, or take some other action, to accept the payment. Is that not the case?
posted by rhiannonstone at 4:35 PM on September 27, 2019

If both your banks offer Zelle, know that there's barely any sign-up involved. It's basically a service being offered by the bank, so they already have all your personal info, account number, etc. All you have to do is opt in, IIRC. (So, not too onorous for your landlord.)
posted by BlahLaLa at 4:35 PM on September 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

Nthing TransferWise. Speedy and much less expensive than traditional banks. It does not accept clients in all countries but does allow transfers among many.
posted by Bella Donna at 4:40 PM on September 27, 2019

Yes, your landlord would need to sign up for Zelle in order to accept your payment. (I'll also say that Zelle sometimes takes several days to deliver the money & you never know whether or not you will get the "expedited" processing until it is too late to cancel the transaction. If your landlord is a stickler for receiving money by a certain date, you need to take this into account and add some extra time so that you don't get late fees.)
posted by belladonna at 4:49 PM on September 27, 2019

Can you ask your neighbors how they manage it? They may actually be using Zelle and your landlord may or may not realize that's how the money is getting into his account.
posted by willnot at 4:52 PM on September 27, 2019

Did you ask what s/he means? They should be able to provide more info than that. I'm a landlord, and it's just not businesslike to be vague and unhelpful about something like this.
posted by slidell at 6:02 PM on September 27, 2019

Almost all major banks provide this at no cost. If you're willing to switch banks or open a secondary account, just find one that's convenient for you and verify they'll do ACH bill pay. Both of my really large commercial banks and my tiny credit union have it, it's more or less table stakes for modem banks.

Zelle is moving into small business transactions but will take a significant percentage of the money as a fee so the landlord is unlikely to want to use it, unless they're passing the fee onto you.
posted by Candleman at 6:17 PM on September 27, 2019

Zelle is basically branded ACH, so long as its between banks that both use it. Otherwise, it's branded ACH with a longer delay.

I instinctively hate it too, but the bigger banks I use have switched.

The smaller regional bank I use still has plain old ACH, so you may want to call around. Try credit unions too, they tend to have less glossy BS overall.

Almost all major banks provide this at no cost.

WFB only offers Zelle, I'd have to remind myself which other big bank I use that is Zelle only. BofA maybe.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:58 PM on September 27, 2019

Is your landlord British? Direct deposit is a really common term here. But yeah Transferwise is the easiest!
posted by atlantica at 12:32 AM on September 28, 2019

posted by humboldt32 at 1:29 AM on September 28, 2019

Santander let me transfer into another bank account without a verification process, for no charge.
posted by Salamandrous at 6:50 AM on September 28, 2019

Wells Fargo does bill pay.

Zelle is not just a faster ACH, there's a bunch of legal/terms of services differences.
posted by Candleman at 7:53 AM on September 28, 2019

If he hasnt given you a portal through which to sent your rent payments, see if your bank has an online bill payment option that will automatically and paperless issue him a check when you say to. It can be one time or recurrent depending on how you set it up. Direct deposit is only for payroll checks.
posted by The_imp_inimpossible at 9:39 PM on September 28, 2019 [1 favorite]

Yeah, Zelle layers a lot of their own terms and conditions on top. At the end of the day (or, two days) it’s ACH with unneeded, unwanted, unasked for special sauce, but thats how it’s cleared.

My WFB accounts no longer permit me to use bill pay for arbitrary ACH. I can cause a check to be mailed. If others can still do direct ACH via the bill pay screen at WFB I’d love to know about it.
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:31 PM on September 28, 2019

My large employer has direct deposit as part of our paycheck. You add the landlord's account as a payee at a certain amount, and then the remaining balance goes to your checking account (or wherever). The lead time for changes is pretty long but it's certainly among the easier options and costs me nothing. I would also put in a plug for, which will send money via ACH anywhere in the world for a surprisingly small amount of money. I think they have a way to set up a recurring payment.
posted by wnissen at 10:56 AM on September 30, 2019

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