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Banks Unveil a New Way to Transfer Money

Use ClearXchange with email or cellphone

ClearXchange could cut costs for everyone involved. Banks would save the costs of handling paper checks, and consumers the cost of buying and mailing them.

Users will be able to request the transfer of a specific sum to a person identified by an email address or mobile number. The recipient will get a message announcing the transfer, and requesting that the address or number be linked electronically to a bank account. Once that's done, the money will automatically appear in the account. Future transfers to this person will go through directly.

"This is an innovative game changer in electronic payments," says Mike Kennedy, an executive vice president and head of payments strategy at San Francisco-based Wells Fargo. "We want our customers to be able to easily send money to anyone without having to establish a new account outside their primary bank. All our customers need to know is the email address or mobile number of a friend or family member, and we will take care of the rest."

Art Dalglish is an editor and writer based in Maryland.

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