Man using banking app
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Since the arrival of mobile wallets, making purchases has never been easier. No need to run to an ATM to grab some cash for your morning coffee, or sift through your wallet for the right credit card when you want to buy something online. Convenience is the name of the purchasing game in the 21st century. So, it makes sense to apply that same logic when sending funds from your bank account to another person.

Payment apps, such as Popmoney have risen in popularity for that reason. Similar to mobile wallets, Popmoney has provided a secure and fast way for people to transfer funds. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

Popmoney at a glance

Popmoney, powered by the financial services company, Fiserv is an online personal payment service that provides an easy option for sending and receiving money between friends and family.

Popmoney has partnered with over 2,500 banks and credit unions across the United States. If you have a compatible provider and use online banking, the service is automatically included to transfer funds to/from your account.

If your bank doesn’t yet offer Popmoney, go to Popmoney.com to sign up and take advantage of the service.

How to set up Popmoney

Start by seeing if your bank supports the app. Once you’re good to go, proceed to downloading the mobile app onto your device, or sign up through Popmoney.com.

When first creating your account, you’ll have to provide basic information such as your name, cell number, email and address. After entering your info and setting up a password, you’ll need to link your checking account and/or debit card.

In the next two to three business days, the app will make a couple deposits of less than $1 in order to verify your account. Once you’ve received these payments, Popmoney will withdraw the initial deposits to signal that your account is set up a ready to use.

How to use Popmoney

Through your phone, computer or tablet, Popmoney makes a direct transfer from one checking account to another using the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network. You can send or request money from anyone in your contact list, and whether they have an account or not, they’ll be notified.

An email address or phone number is all that’s needed to send some cash with Popmoney. Once you’ve entered the needed info and clicked “Send”, the recipient will be notified with a text or email.

When alerted, Popmoney users can accept payments with a simple click. But those who don’t have an account can still accept an incoming payment when they provide their bank account information. Although, it may take a little longer for the money to show up in the account. After accepting the payment, a confirmation email will be sent with details on when the transaction will be processed.

You can request money from someone the same way you send it – with the sender’s email address or cell number. Unlike the receiving end, new users will have to create a Popmoney account to complete outgoing transfers.

Caps on sending money

  • You can send up to $500 per day, and a maximum of $1,000 every 30 days when using your debit card.
  • From a bank account, you can send up to $2,000 per day, with a ceiling of $5,000 every 30 days.

Caps on requesting money

  • You can ask for up to $1,000 per day, and up to of $2,500 every 30 days.
  • To pay someone else’s request, you can spend up to $2,500 per day, and a total of $4,000 every 30 days.

Using Popmoney securely

For your protection, the recipient of each Popmoney transfer must verify themselves as the owner of the email address or phone number entered. The app is also password-protected, but you may want to up your own sense of security when using a peer-to-peer payment app.

No matter the device you’re using, be sure that it’s protected with a fingerprint, PIN, password or another secure login feature to ensure that no one is able to access and use your account.

If you notice that you’ve sent money to the wrong account, you should report it to Popmoney as soon as possible. While they may help where they can, they won’t reimburse accidental payments.

Some personal information may be shared with the service, but only to let your counterpart know who has sent/requested money. The service doesn’t offer “buyer protection”, so be sure to use it with people you trust.

Popmoney compared with other mobile wallets

Unlike traditional mobile wallets, such as Apple Pay or Google Pay, Popmoney can’t be used to pay retailers for their goods and services. Peer-to-peer payment apps like Venmo and Square Cash are much better suited for comparison.

Popmoney is limited when it comes to linking your payment methods, as the majority of its competitors accept credit cards for payment within their apps. Additionally, Popmoney charges a $0.95 fee any time you send or request money through the service. But some alternatives will not charge you for transactions made with your linked debit card or bank account — credit card transactions are the exception.

Similar to Zelle, there is no middleman or “Popmoney balance” that you may see when using an app like Venmo. All payments are made directly from bank account to bank account. Also, Popmoney transactions are private. So, if you value privacy and direct payments, Popmoney may be the app for you.

The app is currently limited to the United States, so if you expect to make payments to friends and family outside the U.S., another app is a better option.

What else you should know

Aside from the $0.95 fee for transferring funds through Popmoney, there are no other fees associated with the service. However, certain integrated banks may charge their own fees for using it. So be sure to read the fine print before making a transaction.

When receiving payment, you have a 10-day window to accept the transfer. From there, process timing depends on how the money was sent. Payments accepted on business days are processed a bit faster – with debit card transactions typically taking just one business day, and those from bank accounts averaging around three.

The app also has implemented limits on how much money you can send and request. Once again, these limits depend on how this money is being transferred.

Bottom line

Popmoney is stress-free way to transfer funds to and from the people you trust. There have been cases where retailers have offered to accept the service as payment, but with no buyer protection and the nature of peer-to-peer payments, we don’t recommend it as a frequently-used function of the app.

That being said, thanks to Popmoney and others like it, splitting the check, paying your landlord or divvying up Uber costs has never been easier.