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Person-To-Person Payments On The Rise, Could Replace Checks

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Think about all the money you owe people -- and how you pay them.

Do you write a check to your roommate for half of the bills?

Do you run to the ATM to get some cash for the babysitter?

Do you use the famous line "I'll get you next time" when your co-worker pays for lunch?

Well, how people pay each other is changing -- and it might make you ask "Why didn't I know about this sooner?"

In our digital world it makes sense that our money is going high tech, too.

No more cash, checks or IOUs. Social payments, also called person-to-person payments, are on the rise.

You send money from your bank account into someone else's bank account simply by using their email address or cell phone number.

Nina Midgley uses a service called Popmoney.

"Anytime I've ever owed money to a friend, it's electronic," she says.

She's used Popmoney to pay for half the cable bill, a wedding gift, and a dinner with friends.

Popmoney is one of several person to person payment services out there.

It's teamed up with 2,000 financial institutions including PNC, Citizens Bank and First National Bank.

Pittsburgh is one of the top five markets in the country where people are using Popmoney to pay up.

"There's always that person that you have lunch with a co worker, a colleague a family member who never has cash catch you next time, no more excuses," says financial expert Vera Gibbons.

In Pittsburgh the most common social payments are rent, shared bills, travel and gifts.

"People are also using it for household expenses, to pay the dog walker, the nanny, the babysitter, the personal trainer," explains Gibbons.

The person on each end needs a bank account for this transfer of money to work and it can take a couple days for the money to clear.

If you use the Popmoney website to transfer funds -- you will pay a 95 cent fee but many banks like PNC offer the service for free.

Popmoney also has a limit of $2,000 per transaction, PNC limits it to $1,000.


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