Years ago, when I was working in northern Wisconsin, a Native American friend told me there are four primary virtues in life: courage, strength, wisdom, and generosity. She said that every person is born with one of these virtues and it is our purpose to find the other three. I’ve always thought generosity is the most difficult of those four to attain, and I still don’t feel as if I’ve reached that goal, but I did have an opportunity to make it one step closer recently.
My wife and I had a family member contact us asking for money. There was a time when getting a phone call like that would make my stomach sink, but not anymore. Even though I didn’t have any issue deciding whether we should send her money, it was difficult figuring out how to do it. The last time I sent money was through a wire transfer to purchase my 1957 Chevy, and surely this situation wouldn’t require one of those. But would she get the funds fast enough if we mailed a check? Would we be better off using a professional money service like Western Union? Is it possible to initiate an external transfer from our bank account to hers? I asked my banker and she told me an external bank account transfer was only possible if I’m an owner on both accounts. Sending money quickly without paying a large fee seemed impossible, but then my banker mentioned person to person (P2P) money transfers applications.
P2P apps allow you to email or text money to another person. There are many P2P apps on the market (like Google Wallet, Venmo, and Square Cash), but each of these demands more trust than I’m willing to grant as they require you to provide a lot of bank account information, including your online banking username and password as part of the account verification process. Luckily, my banker showed me that I can use Popmoney straight from Bank of the Ozark’s Online Banking*, essentially mitigating this risk. It’s relatively hassle free, quick, and cheap, only costing $1.00 for transfers in three business days and $2.00 for next business day transfers**. In the end, our family member got the help she needed and we got the satisfaction of being more generous, and the wisdom of a new secure and inexpensive way to send money.
*You must be enrolled in Online Banking and Bill Pay to use Popmoney.
**Fees are paid by the individual sending the payment. Additional fees, if requested, include $1.00 to add an eGreeting to accompany the payment and $20.00 for a Stop Payment.
By Adam Lucas Adam Lucas holds a Finance degree and an MBA from the University of Kentucky. His work has appeared in many major outlets including Yahoo, AARP.org, and GoBankingRates.com.
Monday on the Money is a weekly commentary from Bank of the Ozarks providing financial advice and solutions important to you and your family.