P2P Payments: Not As Difficult As You Think

By Amy He

This past weekend, I asked my friend to help me acquire discount movie passes — paying $14.50 for a ticket in NYC is no fun, folks — but I wasn’t sure when I would next see her to pay her for the tickets, so she suggested I use Chase QuickPay.

For those who don’t know, Chase QuickPay is a person-to-person (P2P) payment method launched a couple of years ago by Chase to facilitate payment between individuals easily. It’s available for both Chase customers and customers of other banks, all you need — as touted through its marketing — is an email or a cellphone number. Easy enough.

I’m currently not a Chase banking customer, so my friend sent me a request for money using my email address. I was linked to a page to sign up for an account, but the website wasn’t cooperating with me, as it never loaded and there was no other way to reach the sign-up page outside of clicking that link.

Unlike many of Simon’s friends who weren’t interested in QuickPay because they weren’t with Chase, I wanted to try it out anyway. Thankfully I was patient and stuck it through, but for other users who are interested in trying the service, persistent website downtime like that is discouraging.

I was finally able to sign up after a couple of days of trying, and the process after was relatively simple. One thing that did seem a little weird to me was its verification process. Like other services that confirm accounts, Chase deposited two small amounts into my Citi checking account before withdrawing it, and I was to report how much those two amounts were. But before I ever confirmed those two amounts, Chase had already withdrawn money from my account to pay for the tickets my friend got me. That seems counterintuitive to the idea of account confirmation, and not all that reassuring in terms of account security.

continue reading »