Jan 172013
 

By W.H.A.| SpeedyPay.info

I read today that Xoom, which is an international consumer-to-consumer money transfer service, is going public. The company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering that’s expected to raise $50 million. The company will trade on the NASDAQ under the symbol XOOM.

Xoom logo

Xoom Corporation

The company has not yet disclosed what price they might offer at. I might buy a few shares when the IPO breaks, if the price is reasonable. I’ve used Xoom’s service several times in the past and have been happy with it.

I think there is tremendous potential for growth in the money-transfer market, which for years has been dominated by Western Union and MoneyGram, two companies that may be reliable but are expensive and slow.

Xoom allows users to send money to 30 different countries through their website (Xoom.com), Walmart’s website, or through mobile devices. The sender can fund the transfer with a debit card, credit card or bank account.

Xoom was founded in 2001 and is based in San Francisco, California. The company’s revenues have been growing quickly. Their annual sales in 2012 were $73 million.

See my previous review of Xoom’s money transfer service here:

Sending Money with Xoom

Jan 152013
 

Money transfer services have become an important part of modern society. Because of the number of online businesses growing and thriving, as well as individuals using the internet to shop from places around the world opposed to visiting brick and mortar stores, it has become essential to have a means of transferring money from one party to another.

Although an essential financial service, there is one big challenge in that not all companies are honest.

Worldwide money transfers

Money transfer

Companies that conduct fraudulent acts and people who scam hit virtually every market imaginable but obviously, anything that involves money becomes a primary target.

To avoid getting caught up in the madness, consumers have both the right and responsibility to research every aspect of money transfer services to find those deemed safe.

Top Global Transfer Companies

While most companies offer much the same services there are unique aspects of each. For that reason, a person would first need to determine what features are considered most important from a transfer company.

One thing in particular a person should learn is the countries for which services are offered. Because this is one of the many important features, we felt it would be beneficial to provide an overview of a few of the top-ranking money transfer services.

Personal FX

  • Specific to Moneysupermarket.com, which allows transfers of £5,000 and up for entry in prize drawings.
  • Monthly payments of at least £250.
  • No limit for the amount of bank transfer payments but a limit of £20,000 for debit cards.
  • If transferring £5,000 or less, fees could apply.
  • 24×7 access to real time exchange rates.
  • Services are authorized and regulated by FSA

TransferWise

  • Maintains a 5 out of 5 rating for service among the top five money websites specific to money transfer services.
  • £100,000 limit on transfers completed online with the amount higher for phone transfers.
  • Services are 100% transparent with mid-market rates being offered minus only a minimal service fee.
  • Services are authorized and regulated by the FSA.
  • 24×7 customer support via phone

HiFX

  • Specific to Moneysupermarket.com, which allows transfers of £5,000 and up for entry in prize drawings.
  • Minimum amount of transfers is £250.
  • Online transfers available below and above £20,000 with phone transfers can be completed for even higher amounts.
  • Real time exchange rates and no hidden fees o Money transfer services of £3,000 or less are charged a fee of £9.
  • Services are authorized and regulated by the FSA

WorldFirst

  • Specific to Moneysupermarket.com with money transfers of £10,000 and higher being used as entry into monthly prize drawings.
  • Only bank transfers are allowed, eliminating the need to deal with cash o Real time exchange rates and professional customer support.
  • Services are authorized and regulated by the FSA.

Lloyds TSB

  • Must be a current Lloyds account holder.
  • No limit on money transfers when completed at a local branch but a £5,000 limit on transfers completed via phone.
  • Fee of £17.50 for money transfers of £5,000 and over and £10 for transfers of less than £5,000 although any intermediary or receiving bank could tack on additional fees.
  • Currencies of all types are available.

PayPal

  • Currently 23 unique currencies are available.
  • No minimum on transfer amounts.
  • Sending money involves a 3.9% transfer fee when using a balance maintained with PayPal or a bank account, as well as a currency conversion fee, and possible other fees charged by intermediary or receiving banks.
  • Exchange rate would only be confirmed at the time of money being transferred

Key Considerations

No matter the reason for sending/receiving money to or from another country, it is important to learn everything possible about the company offering money transfer services. A good understanding of what different companies offer for money transfer services could have a significant impact on your user experience.

After all, the amount of fees charged, amount of time for a transaction to complete, and the level of support received could vary dramatically. Spending time looking at the companies mentioned as well as others considered safe would be a worthwhile investment long-term.

Aug 142012
 

The BBC News reports that by the beginning of 2013, every bank customer in the U.K. may have the ability to transfer money between bank accounts using apps on their mobile phones!

In February 2012, Barclays Bank became the first bank to launch such an app for its customers.

Now the banking industry at large – as represented by the Payments Council – is building a database that will link all bank accounts to their customers’ mobile phone numbers.

This will allow every bank to connect their own systems to the database, and offer their own money transfer mobile apps to their own customers.

Mobile-to-mobile transfers

Mobile-to-mobile transfers may revolutionize the way people send money.

“There’s clearly a great demand for mobile payments, and our work will ensure that banks of all shapes and sizes can offer their own competitive service to their customers,” said Adrian Kamellard, chief executive of the Payments Council.

“Whether you want to pay a friend or your window cleaner, we are laying the foundation to enable mobile payments to become a mainstream option.”

How the System Will Work

Once the system is up and running, if you want to send money from your own bank account to someone else’s, here’s what you’ll have to do:

1. Register with your bank and activate their money-transfer app on your mobile phone (the recipient must also be registered with their own bank).

2. Log in to the app on your phone using a pin number.

3. Select the person you want to send money to – all you will need is their mobile number.

4. Choose the amount to be paid and add any note that you wish, such as “loan” or “gift”.

5. Enter a pin number to confirm the transfer.

6. The payment is then made, details will appear on the recipient’s app, and your account will show your reduced balance.

The money will be transferred instantly. So if you want to pay a vendor, or you get a call from a friend or relative needing a little financial assistance, you could move money to their account instantly.

“The point is not only that it is very secure but that it is fast as well,” Mr Kamellard says.

“It offers customers a different way of behaving.”

An Alternative to Credit Cards?

Money won’t be stored on your phone itself – the system doesn’t turn your phone into a mobile wallet – but the banking industry seems to believe that the coming changes will revolutionize personal payment habits.

Dave Birch, a payments expert at Consult Hyperion, says the biggest impact may not be on individuals but on small businesses such as shops.

“This could be adopted very quickly in the small business space – it may turn out to be more convenient and cheaper than accepting credit card payments,” he says.

Perhaps. But if I were a merchant, I wouldn’t want to have to use an app to log in to my bank account and confirm payment every time someone purchased a product. There are also security issues that will need to be addressed. For example, banks will have to be able to disable the app remotely if the phone is lost or stolen. But I suppose that’s not much different than having to cancel your credit cards when your wallet gets stolen.

I also wonder if this is bad news for online money transfer services like Paypal, and maybe debit card and credit card providers as well.

In any case, these are interesting changes that are coming, and it will be fascinating to see how they impact various financial spheres, including remittances, personal money transfers, and the retail industry.

Sep 302007
 

New online payment service by Steve Case

A new online payment service is about to make its debut. Big deal, there’s a thousand of them, right? True, but in this case the service, called Revolution Money, is being introduced by none other than Steve Case, the co-founder of America Online Internet Service – AOL. The new service will allow users to make online payments for free – wow! – and will offer sharply lower fees for online merchants.

The company is backed by Case’s investment firm, Revolution LLC, which led a $50 million round of venture capital funding that also included Citi and Morgan Stanley. The company’s still in the pilot stage. The new subsidiary’s chairman will be Ted Leonsis, vice chairman emeritus of AOL LLC and majority owner of the Washington Capitals and Washington Mystics.

Revolution Money will compete directly against the most popular online payment systems, such as the industry leader Paypal and the newcomer Google Checkout. Can Revolution Money be successful in this space? What do they bring to the table that’s new or interesting?

Revolution Money’s Online Payment Offerings

Revolution Money plans to make its mark by offering customers a number of interesting features, such as:

1. AOL users will be able to make online payments free of charge through AOL’s AIM instant messaging service. This service will be called Revolution MoneyExchange.

2. A credit card called RevolutionCard will be offered that carries an interchange fee of only 0.5%, compared to the typical charge of 1.9% for other credit cards. Apparently Revolution Money can offer this lower rate because the internet-based payment system costs less to run, and they pass this savings on to consumers.

3. Revolution will offer an anonymous credit card with no name or account number on it with the aim of reducing the risk of identity theft. The user’s identity and card number cannot be stolen because it’s not printed on the card.

My Take

Steve Case says, “Traditional, and even online, incumbents have been charging what adds up to billions of dollars of fees every year that ultimately comes out of consumers’ pockets. Revolution Money’s goal, he said, is an “easy-to-use and secure payment system that puts money back where it belongs, in consumers’ pockets.”

Sounds good to me. One question, however, is whether the free online payment service will be offered only to AOL users, or will be expanded to the internet community at large. My impression is that Revolution Money has signed AOL on as a partner to get off the ground, but later on will widen the service to anyone who wants to join.

If this happens, I have no doubt that people will abandon Paypal in droves. I mean, who isn’t tired of paying Paypal’s fees even for small transactions?

Revolution Money has not said when the service would go live, but I would imagine that we could look for it sometime early next year.