Popmoney - The Basics

Review (With the Most Common Complaint)

Mobile Payment and Banking
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What exactly is Popmoney? You may have found that your bank (or your friend’s bank) uses Popmoney for sending money. Is it legitimate, and what do you need to know before making or receiving an electronic payment?

Popmoney Basics

Popmoney is a payment service. It allows individuals and businesses to pay each other electronically. Funds get zapped directly from one bank account to the other within a few business days.

There’s no need to write a check (or deposit it, if you’re on the receiving end), nor do you need to keep cash on hand to pay your share of expenses.

The ideal use for Popmoney is to send money to somebody you know and trust (or get paid by somebody who knows you). In many cases, you can create a payment while you’re logged in to your bank’s app or website.

If you’re out for lunch with friends, one person can cover the bill, and everybody can pay their share electronically (as opposed to everybody pulling out a $20 bill and asking for change). The person who pays might get some rewards on their card, and everybody can get back to work on time – without the server dealing with everybody individually.

Again, Popmoney is best for personal payments. Some businesses request payment by Popmoney, but that’s only wise if you trust the person you’re paying. For example, your landlord might collect rent electronically, or you might pay a local babysitter with Popmoney – but be careful paying for goods ordered online.

Avoid using Popmoney for the first time if time is of the essence. Transfers take a few days, but there are always exceptions. Most complaints about Popmoney refer to money being locked up for longer than expected – neither the sender nor the receiver can access the funds. Once you get familiar with the timing, you’ll know what to expect.

If You Received a Payment

When somebody pays you using Popmoney, you’ll get a message (text or email) explaining that you’ve received a payment. If you’ve never used the service before, you’ll have to tell Popmoney where to send the money. You can claim the funds at your bank if your bank has an existing relationship with Popmoney, or you can visit Popmoney.com, where you’ll provide bank account information (the steps are easy to follow at Popmoney’s website).

Cost: Receiving a payment is generally free ​unless you initially requested the payment using Popmoney.

Sending Money

You can make payments using your bank’s website or mobile application – login to the secure area and look for links to “Popmoney,” “Pay a person,” “P2P Payments,” or similar. If your bank does not have a relationship with Popmoney, you can set up your own account directly with Popmoney. You'll provide banking information and make payments from Popmoney.com.

Cost: Sending money is generally inexpensive – free, or around one dollar per payment, depending on your bank.

You might be able to send “instant” payments by debit card for a slightly higher fee.

To send money, you’ll need to provide information about the recipient. It’s easiest to use an email address or mobile phone number, but you can provide the recipient’s bank account and routing information if you have it. Payments can be cancelled before they’ve been processed, but you can’t reverse a payment.

Is Popmoney Safe?

Popmoney is a legitimate payment service – that’s often a surprise to people who have never heard of it (and they get money or requests from friends).

However, there’s always a chance that you’ll receive a fake email from your “friend,” which takes you to an impostor website designed to steal your information. If you get an unexpected message, use extra caution – call your friend before clicking on anything. Be sure that you only access the service at the official Popmoney website or through a secure area in your bank’s website.

Making purchases with Popmoney can be risky. There is no “buyer protection” at Popmoney, so you’re on your own if you don’t get what you expected – or if the goods never arrive at all. Alternatives like credit or debit cards (preferably credit cards for safety) and PayPal offer more protection. Popmoney has been used in scams on popular online auction sites (similar to Venmo).

Sharing Account Information

When sending or receiving funds, you don’t need to share your bank account information with anybody (your routing and account numbers) – everybody can use email addresses or phone numbers. On the other hand, when you write a check (or endorse one that was written to you), others may be able to see sensitive account information and copy your signature.

If your bank uses Popmoney, your account is automatically ready to send and receive payments. However, if you pay somebody who does not use a bank that works with Popmoney, your payee will need to provide their bank account information to Popmoney – and not everybody wants to do that. Likewise, if you’ve received a payment and you have a non-Popmoney bank account, you’ll need to provide that information to collect the payment – again, make sure you only do so at the real Popmoney.com website.

To send and receive money without providing your bank account and routing numbers, you can always try Square Cash, which uses card numbers instead. In addition, there are many other ways to send money to another individual electronically – and you might already have an account with one of those services. For example, many people already have PayPal accounts and use them regularly. See how Popmoney compares to PayPal.

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