PayPal faces new challenge from the big banks


PayPal’s dominance of the electronic money transfer market is about to be challenged by the nation’s largest banks.

Now a subsidiary of eBay, PayPal has had the market to itself for such an inventive service. It used to be that if you needed to send money to someone around the country or around the world, it was a very difficult and expensive process. PayPal really reinvented the method of paying people.

That’s made the nation’s banks tremble in fear of PayPal. But now they’re getting ready to do something about it. Bank of America, Chase and Wells Fargo are putting their own competing effort together called clearXchange.

With clearXchange, you can use your own checking account to send money to other people using a mobile number or email address. It’s a shot aimed at the heart of what PayPal does.

In the midst of that, Google is trying for the second time to grow its own payment system called Google Checkout. This one will potentially save money for merchants who accept credit cards and other forms of payment from customers.

Money is going through the most dramatic change we’ve ever seen. I was talking to someone at the accounting firm I use and they were asking me about checks I’ve written. Last year, I wrote just eight checks in an entire year. Everything else I did was electronic.

As you can tell, checkbooks are just not part of my life. My kids growing up may not ever actually physically use a checkbook. The way money will move will be either electronic or plastic.

Now, the downside to this is that it’s harder to keep track of your balances versus the old-fashioned way of maintaining a checkbook and a check register. But other than that, everything about it is easier.  

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