MasterCard International is offering CertaPay's E-mail Money Transfer service to its member financial institutions as part of an effort by both companies to promote the adoption of person-to-person payments.
MasterCard members who install the CertaPay platform can let customers use MasterCard credit or debit accounts to pay someone by e-mail. Users log into their accounts on the bank's Web site to send the money. The recipient of the funds receives e-mail notification that money is being transferred to his account. Account information is not revealed to either party to the transaction.
“People are looking for ways to transfer money to each other directly and in real-time at a reasonable cost,” said Michael Ginsberg, CEO of CertaPay, Toronto. “E-mail is a natural medium to facilitate money transfer because it is ubiquitous and international and everyone knows how to use it.”
MasterCard said the e-mail payment system enables financial institutions to establish relationships among non-customers who receive e-mail money transfers because the system is bank-branded. Participating banks include CIBC, Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust and Bank of Montreal.
CertaPay said it was the first company in Canada to develop a person-to-person e-mail payment platform for financial institutions that offer online banking.
The company's e-mail payment system is similar to one offered by PayPal Inc., which provides e-mail money transfers for consumers and businesses and is used regularly by people to pay for online auction winnings. PayPal acts as a third party in the transaction and is not affiliated with a financial institution.