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I have a tenant who would prefer not to write and mail checks each month, and I'd rather not have to cash them.

What are the options for "bill pay" like electronic checks/ACH services between individuals? I know the tenant can use "bill pay", but that results in a paper check I then have to cash. We use different banks in the same city.

Oh yes, this the United States of America, where I can't just "do this". It's never been supported.

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  • Simple - Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) from his account to yours.
    – Victor
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 9:23
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    Why can't you simply use bank transfer? Don't you have a bank account?
    – user45830
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 9:46
  • Both sides have bank accounts. This is the USA, there's no culture or support for such transfers between individuals.
    – Bryce
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 21:03
  • @Bryce: But there is. I pay my friend my share of our horse expenses with an electronic transfer. We do bank at the same credit union, but if I'm reading the site's info correctly, I should be able to do it with any bank account.
    – jamesqf
    Commented Jan 18, 2018 at 3:02
  • @jamesqf in the USA there's a clearinghouse for checks and epayments, known as ACH. In theory it's possible, but in practice the banks here just don't do it. If your credit union really does it, great.
    – Bryce
    Commented Jan 18, 2018 at 7:51

2 Answers 2

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My bank recently began to implement a service known as Zelle. If the sender of the money has a bank on the Zelle client list, it can be used to transfer funds at no cost to other parties, based on an email address or telephone number. I've recently performed a transfer of a substantial amount to a friend and had no charges or fees added. The web site says money can be sent to anyone with a bank account, which implies the recipient does not have to have a bank which supports the service, but the sender will, obviously.

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  • It works with most banks, if an email address is associated with your account.
    – Aganju
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 12:57
  • I was about to answer with a service called PopMoney, which seems similar to your Zelle, and when I searched for my bank's reference, Zelle came up, Citizens Bank Zelle page. There seem to be a good number of such payment systems as I search further. a +1 for you. Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 15:03
  • My bank also supports PopMoney, but it carries a one dollar US charge that I have to pay, making it somewhat less desirable. I haven't checked, but I would not be surprised to learn that that particular service is dropped.
    – fred_dot_u
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 16:20
  • Dang, neither side supports it, Union Bank and Mechanic's Bank CA.
    – Bryce
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 21:01
  • PayPal is the same concept. I've given money to friends and relatives with PayPal.
    – Jay
    Commented Jan 18, 2018 at 22:36
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but that results in a paper check I then have to cash.

In addition to fred_dot_u's excellent answer about Zelle, most banks now have cell phone apps which allow you to endorse the check and then take a photo of both sides of the check. Viola, it's deposited without you having to go near a branch.

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  • :-) nice answer. But I'm a computer guy, no way I'm going to ever put a banking app on my phone that I carry with me. I do scan checks for online deposit with the old Ing Direct / Capital One 360.
    – Bryce
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 20:59
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    @Bryce suit yourself. I'm a computer guy, and think it's better than sliced bread.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 21:03
  • I reached my threshold of hacks and data breaches. Enjoy your banking app.
    – Bryce
    Commented Jan 18, 2018 at 2:19

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