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By Melissa Green | Citizens Bank Staff
Peer-to-peer payments (P2P) make splitting tabs and bills with friends easy and convenient. Money transfer apps — like Zelle®, Venmo©, PayPal©, and Google Pay™ — allow users to send money from their mobile devices through a linked funding source.
Here’s what you should know about how P2P apps work, and how to use them safely.
Let’s say you need to give your sister money for your parents’ anniversary gift. You would simply open your app, select “little sister” from your contacts, and enter the amount you want to send. Within a few moments she’ll get a notification that you’ve finally fulfilled your financial obligation. Your sister can leave the money in the app, or transfer it to her bank account.
P2P payment services are available through banks, credit unions, and social media networks, including Facebook. If the person receiving money doesn’t have the app they may receive a text or email notification with instructions to download the app and collect their money.
Money transfer apps are safe, but they’re not foolproof. If you’ve ever texted or called the wrong number, that mistake could cost you when sending money. It’s important to understand that you may not get that money back. In most cases, providers won't help if the recipient refuses to return the misdirected funds. A good rule of thumb, only send money to people you know and trust.
The law doesn’t require P2P services to return or help recover the funds.
All apps aren’t created equal — they’ll have varying security measures in place to help prevent honest mistakes and dishonest fraud. It’s important to do your research before choosing an app.
While “quick and easy” is the basic premise for P2P, taking a few extra seconds to enable security features can save you a lot of stress and money. Here are a few things you can do to help keep your cash exactly where it’s supposed to be.
Money transfer apps are a great way to simplify your life — as long as you use them safely. It’s important to do some research and find an app that you trust. Your bank may offer Zelle within your online banking or mobile app so you may not need to download anything else. Unfortunately, fraud happens, so do your best to safeguard yourself and your personal information when sending and receiving money.
Want to quickly and easily send and receive money with people you trust? You can enroll in Zelle by downloading the Citizens Bank mobile app or enrolling in online banking.
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