What methods are there for me to transfer X dollars per month, directly to another individual's bank account? I'd rather avoid sending a check every month and the attendant hassle when a check goes missing, so best is something involving direct deposit and ACH.

Both banks are in the USA. On my bank's side I have access to "bill pay", and I can get their routing/account numbers. But as far as I can tell "bill pay" would simply result in a paper check going out.

I've checked and with paypal this is sort of possible, but it's treated as a business service and comes with fees.

I know in Europe this is done all the time, and it routine. In the USA not so much.

  • 2
    I'm not aware of a way to this without fees, so I'm not writing an answer. I can confirm, however, that for my bank if you do "bill pay" that would result in a paper check going in the mail. Maybe other banks are different, but I doubt it. (At minimum you'd need to collect account and routing information for the other party for this to have a chance using the bank's bill pay feature - Otherwise how would they know how to get it to the other party?)
    – user32479
    Sep 29, 2015 at 14:15
  • I assume you've tried setting up a recurring automated transfer using online banking? Setting up a recurring transfer is usually as easy as setting up a one-time transfer, but of course your bank may not allow any online transfers, or charge a fee. May 17, 2016 at 18:48

5 Answers 5


I think about as close as you're going to get is to use a personal PayPal account, and set up a reminder to yourself to log in and send the money. (Because, as you said, setting up a recurring payment is a business account thing.)

From PayPal's website:

Sending money – Personal payments:

It's free within the U.S. to send money to family and friends when you use only your PayPal balance or bank account, or a combination of their PayPal balance and bank account.


Receiving money – Personal payments:

It's free to receive money from friends or family in the U.S. when they send the money from the PayPal website using only their PayPal balance or their bank account, or a combination of their PayPal balance and bank account.

You can automate the reminder to yourself with any of the gazillion task managers out there: Google Calendar, MS Outlook, Todoist, Remember the Milk, etc.


A handful of well-known banks in the United States are part of the Zelle network (rebranded from clearXchange in 2017-06), which allows customers of those banks to move money amongst them. The Zelle service is rebranded differently by each member bank. For example, Chase calls it QuickPay by Zelle, while Wells Fargo calls it SurePay, and Capital One calls it P2P Payments.

To use Zelle, the sender's bank must be part of the network. The recipient isn't required to be in the network, though if they are it makes things easier, as no setup is required on the recipient's end in that case. Otherwise, they must sign up on the Zelle site directly.

From what I can tell, most payments are fee-free within the network. I have repeating payments set up with Chase's QuickPay, and they do not charge fees.

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    Yes Zelle is now the best way to transfer between bank accounts but not every bank has enabled recurring transfers. For example Ally and Chase have this feature but Capital One does not. Jan 24, 2018 at 21:18
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    And fro the looks of it, Bank of America does not allow recurring transfers with Zelle either. Bummer
    – Kevin M
    Mar 2, 2018 at 20:09
  • For PNC, it's called "PNC together with Zelle", and does not allow recurring payment either…
    – Clément
    May 1, 2019 at 1:05

Many U.S. banks now support POPMoney, which allows recurring electronic transfers between consumer accounts. Even if your bank doesn't support it, you can still use the service. See popmoney.com.

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    Popmoney charges $0.95 per transaction. That's hardly 'avoiding fees'. :( May 10, 2016 at 21:31
  • Some banks and financial institutions offer it for free, when it is accessed directly from your online banking interface. My bank, PNC, is one of them. Here is another: mycfcu.com/online/popmoney.html May 14, 2016 at 2:36
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    +1 my bank also offers popmoney for free. If Op's bank doesn't, $12/yr shouldn't be a deal breaker. May 17, 2016 at 18:24

Ask your bank or credit union. Mine will let me issue recurring payments to anyone, electronically if they can, if not a check gets mailed and (I presume) I get billed for the postage.


If you trust the person you add it as an external account. This may allow you to withdraw from these accounts, and you may have to monitor the foreign account for micro deposits (a few cents) to confirm you own it.

This is how I pay my immediate family members, but I wouldn't do it to anyone else.

Wells Fargo does not allow you to do this, but Chase bank and BB&T do. I cannot speak for others as these are the only ones I bank with.

  • Since my primary bank has an option to add an external account as a transfer destination only (no authority to withdraw from it), I've also found it weird to come across other banks that only enable transfers to accounts I control.
    – Ben Voigt
    Oct 9, 2018 at 1:27

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