BANKING & FINANCE: e-Money – what’s it all about?

E-money is rapidly becoming one of the simplest methods of moving cash on the Internet. It requires no complicated software, and permits the transfer of electronic cash to anyone with an e-mail address. Some of the biggest names in the banking business are involved–Bank One and Wells Fargo, as well as dozens of smaller companies.

E-money is mainly designed for the exchange of funds between individuals. However, many of the e-money providers permit commercial activities for a small fee. These exchanges can include limited payments to children, college students or making small monetary gifts. The amounts are usually limited to between $250 and $1,000 per month. The e-money technology can be used to pay someone, or collect funds from someone who needs to pay you.

It is simple to open an e-money account. Once your account is created, you simply send an e-mail. The recipient of your e-mail will be instructed how to retrieve the funds or how to pay you. If the recipient of your e-mail is not a member of the e-money service you are using, they simply open an account to retrieve their money.

Payments are made by using your credit card or with your offline bank account. The conversion of e-money into actual cash is as simple as requesting a check or using your ATM card.

Let’s review some of the more popular e-money service providers:

PAYPAL:

The world’s largest online-based payment service, PAYPAL constitutes over 10 percent of all financial services-related traffic on the Internet and claims a customer base of over 6 million customers. The company permits secure online payments between individuals and businesses. One of the greatest benefits of PAYPAL is it can be used from PCs or Web-enabled mobile phones. Here’s an overview of services:

? Send money for FREE

? Low fees for receiving money (business accounts)

? Limited to $100 per month on receiving credit card payments

? Select users can access cash using ATM cards

PROPAY:

PROPAY doesn’t require your client to join prior to you getting paid. One benefit of the PROPAY system is you are actually charging credit cards directly for transactions, without the use of an account.

E-COUNT:

The Ecount system permits you to shop anywhere on line where MasterCard is accepted, and you can e-mail cash payments to nearly anyone. In addition, you can access your cash via ATM machines. You can also accept payments from any major credit card.

E-MONEY MAIL:

Emoney is powered by Bank One; however, you do not need to be a Bank One customer to use this service. You can use your Visa credit card or your checking account to send money to almost any e-mail address. All you need to know is the recipient’s e-mail address.

BILLPOINT:

Billpoint is eBay’s preferred payment service if you are buying or selling merchandise on their site. Transactions can be paid for by using MasterCard, Visa, check or Discover.

E-money services permit anyone to send or receive cash and conduct online transactions without the need for a merchant account. In addition, many shopping carts are implementing the different E-money services as a payment option.

The services outlined in this article are only a few of the e-money service providers available. To view a complete list of virtual cash services, please visit www.youronlinebusiness.com/emoney.htm.

Andrew LaPointe is president for Your Online Business.com (www.youronlinebusiness.com), which specializes in on-line promotion and traffic generation strategies. Contact him at lapointe@youronlinebusiness.com or (231) 587-0643. BN

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