May 2013: External Online Transfers

In this edition of Bank Monitor Report, we investigate the options offered for moving money externally to all types of recipients. This Bank Monitor Report focuses on the movement of money into and away from a user’s account at a single firm, including transfers to a client’s own account at other financial institutions and to other account holders regardless of where they bank. As we examined each bank’s external transfer capabilities, we focused on the following issues:

  • Are account holders able to make ACH transfers to their own accounts at outside FIs?
  • Does each bank offer options to move money to accounts held by other people?
  • Do firms offer individual interfaces for each type of transfer?

Of the 17 firms tracked by
Bank Monitor, 15 banks allow for ACH external transfers, allowing clients to move money to their accounts held at other financial institutions. A newer and now more popular transfer capability, person-to-person transfers (P2P), is currently offered by 65% of firms in this report. P2P transfers allow clients to move money to other individuals by providing the recipient’s email address or cell phone number, instead of inputting traditional account information. Of these 11 firms, six firms utilize the Popmoney platform to facilitate P2P transfers.

Only 10 firms offer both ACH external transfers and P2P transfer capabilities to their clients. Of these firms, 80% group both tools within an overarching Transfers section on the private site, allowing users to easily access all transfer-related tools within one section; two firms instead place the P2P tool within a Bill Pay section. Additionally, six banks offer wire transfer capabilities, though only four of them allow clients to facilitate these transfers via the private site.

Additional key findings from our report include:

  • Two firms allow the transfer of money to international accounts.
  • One firm does not allow transfers to external banks, but does facilitate P2P transfers.
  • Three firms are part of the clearXchange network for executing P2P transfers.