Sending money between Chase accounts and Bank of America and Wells Fargo accounts is now very easy, thanks to clearXchange. This could help circumvent Chase’s prohibitive cash deposit policy that many MyBankTracker readers have complained about. In a nutshell, Chase doesn’t let you deposit cash into an account that isn’t yours. (So, you wouldn’t be able to deposit cash into, say, your sister’s account.) Find out more about Chase QuickPay and clearXchange and how it can benefit you.

Sending money to people at different banks are only going to become easier. Get in on the ground floor now.
Sending money to people at different banks are only going to become easier. Get in on the ground floor now.

This past weekend, Chase quietly completed integration of Chase QuickPay and clearXchange, a bank-centric payments network.

As a Chase customer, I’m very happy to hear this because it has become much simpler for me to send (and collect) money from people who are customers of Bank of America and Wells Fargo. The best part is that it’s completely free to use.

Today, I explain what the fuss is all about and I put it to the test so I can show why it is better than all the other person-to-person (P2P) payment methods out there.

A briefing on clearXchange

Created in 2011, clearXchange is a digital payment network made up of banks. The idea is to allow a customer of one network bank (i.e. Chase) to send money to a customer of another network bank (i.e. Bank of America) with just an email or phone number. Nobody has to provide account information to anyone else.

Customers of non-network banks can still use clearXchange but they’ll need to create a clearXchange account and connect it to their bank accounts — a hassle that doesn’t apply to customers of network banks.

ClearXchange network banks include Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo and FirstBank. Capital One and U.S. Bank are currently working to integrate their systems with the network.

Typical fund transfers require that you set up an “external account,” which would need you to enter the bank’s routing number and the recipient’s account number. Afterwards, you’d have to wait a few days for the “test deposits” (usually a few cents) to hit the external account. The fund transfer institution does this because they need to verify, or make sure the bank account is really yours.

clearXchange to the rescue

As previously mentioned, Chase forbids cash deposits into accounts that aren’t yours. Normally, it would be an easy way for a parent to deposit cash into a student’s checking account. But, this rule prevents the parent from depositing cash to their college student. The new Chase QuickPay functionality with clearXchange could eliminate this issue.

Since I am a Chase customer, I thought I’d give the clearXchange network a try by sending a couple bucks to a Bank of America customer (it should work the same way if money was being sent from Bank of America to Chase).

The fastest payment ever, from Chase to Bank of America

I logged into my Chase online banking account as I normally would and I just added Jesse, a Bank of America checking customer, as a new Chase QuickPay recipient with just his email address. Then I entered the amount that I wanted to send, and off it went.

Chase QuickPay can be accessed by visiting Chase's website or by using Chase's mobile banking apps on iOS and Android devices.
Chase QuickPay can be accessed by visiting Chase’s website or by using Chase’s mobile banking apps on iOS and Android devices.

Immediately after that, Jesse got a email from Chase to accept the money by signing up for Chase QuickPay. That was unexpected because I anticipated the two banks to realize that the money transfer was being made through clearXchange, so he shouldn’t have been asked to sign up for QuickPay.

Chase QuickPay will still send an email to the recipient if they belong with a clearXchange network bank.
Chase QuickPay will still send an email to the recipient if they belong with a clearXchange network bank.

But, not long after, Jesse received a second email that alerted him of the money transfer. The interesting part to me is that he was not asked to “accept” the transfer in the email. (In the past, when I used Chase QuickPay to send money to another Chase customer, the other person needed to accept it before the transfer took place.)

The payment showed up right away in Bank of America's online banking system.
The payment showed up right away in Bank of America’s online banking system.

Through his Bank of America online account, the transaction just appeared as a “pending transfer.” There was no action that was required on Jesse’s part — no need to even “accept” the money or provide routing numbers and account numbers. As with a typical fund transfer, however, Jesse had to wait three business days for the money to be available.

With no need "accept" the money, a Bank of America just notified the recipient that money was on the way.
With no need “accept” the money, a Bank of America just notified the recipient that money was on the way.

Overall, it was a smooth transaction that really took very little effort. It was the easiest personal payment I’ve ever made to a non-Chase customer.

Compared to other P2P payment methods

Many companies have tried to conquer the business of personal payments. PayPal is likely to be the most familiar company of this group, but there are others that have made strides to simplify the process of personal payments.

So, I compared clearXchange to today’s popular P2P payment methods with regards to the fees involved with sending money, the cost to receive money, transfer limits and the time it takes for someone to move their money to their bank account.

P2P methodCost to send (from bank account/debit card)Cost to receiveLimitsSpeed (money to bank)
clearXchangeFree / NAFree$1,000 per day, $2,500 per 7-day period or $10,000 per 30-day period1-3 business days
PayPalFree / 2.9% + $0.30Free / 2.9% + $0.30$10,000 at once3-4 business days
VenmoFree / 3% for certain debit cardsFree$2,999 per 7-day period1-2 business days
Google WalletFree/ FreeFree$10,000 per day or $50,000 per 5-day period3 business days
Popmoney$0.95Free1-3 business days
DwollaFree / NAFree if $10 or less; otherwise, $0.25 each time$5,000 at once2-3 business days
FacebookFree/ FreeFreeUnknown1-3 business days
Square CashNA / FreeFree$250 per week (up to $2,500 per week after more identification is provided)Instant-2 business days

When it comes to the cost of sending and receiving money (through bank accounts and debit cards), Google Wallet and Facebook are able to keep up with the totally free approach of clearXchange.

For transfer limits, it’s a mixed bag, but I’d say PayPal has the most generous of limits. When it comes to the speed of moving money to the bank, Venmo and Square Cash claims to be the quickest of the bunch.

The biggest problem that I have with using any of these other P2P payment companies is the fact that they are third party middlemen, whereas clearXchange is operated by the network banks.

Oftentimes, the transferred funds sit in an account, as opposed to being moved automatically to your bank. For example, Venmo and PayPal users must remember to move their balances to their bank accounts. It’s also another account you have to worry about and another username and password to remember.

There's an extra step with many P2P payment services: you have to cash out your money.
There’s an extra step with many P2P payment services: you have to cash out your money.

With clearXchange, the money goes from bank account to bank account without having to log in to any other third-party account.

Furthermore, I’d have share my bank information with another company, which means my financial information becomes more susceptible to hackers. I know that these companies are very secure when it comes to user data, but I’d prefer to minimize the number of places where my financial information lives on the web.

Final take

I have high expectations for clearXchange and, as a Chase customer, I’m glad to see Chase making the effort to make P2P payments easier. It’s going to be so much more simple for me to pay friends and family (so long as they’re with a network bank).

As more banks like Chase start to integrate their payment systems with clearXchange, sending money to anyone will become just as simple as the above experience. U.S. Bank, the fifth-largest bank in the country, just joined the network and is working to integrate its payment system.

Bank of America, Chase and Wells Fargo — the three largest banks in the U.S. — own a whopping 30 percent of all bank deposits. This means there’s a good chance you’ll be able to use these simple payments. Those chances will only rise as more banks join the clearXchange network.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

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Ask a Question

  • Guest

    I noticed that you didn’t happen to post any information about Square Cash as a transfer method. Is there a specific reason or have you just not yet heard of that platform? Square Cash instantly transfers money between the two accounts without the 3 day transfer period

    • There are many P2P payment providers out there and Square Cash is definitely one of them. But, Square Cash just seems to be one of the less popular ones, at least based on my experience (I’ve never heard of anyone using Square Cash).

      However, I know that my personal experience isn’t representative of the popularity of these payment platforms. I’ve added Square Cash into the table in the story. Despite that, I still feel clearXchange is more convenient without having to provide card/account info.

      • Guest

        While I agree that it’s convenient that you don’t have to enter in or share account information, to me the value comes from the speed of delivery, I use it to request money from people for lunch/other small amounts, and it instantly transfers it from their account to mine, so I don’t have to wait the 3 days for it to post. Most of my friends use it, but then again we all work in the technology field. I definitely recommend it if you get the chance to try it out

  • I think that this is a great idea, however I think that something changed within the last few weeks. The first time I used it I sent money to my mom from my Chase account to her Bank of America. She got the email to accept the payment and once the accepted the money was available on her account immediately. A week later I did it again where a client was sending me money from her Wells Fargo account, it took 3 business days. Then a week after that I sent money to my mom and it took 1 business day. I asked someone on my branch and they could not tell me why it changed like that.

    • I would also think that the transfer speed would at least be similar across the three banks. Did you send money in different amounts that would possible warrant a deposit hold? I could see how the banks would take more time to clear the transfer if the amount was larger.

      • I tested it out with different amounts ($50 – $150) from what I tested it takes longer from Wells Fargo to Chase (3 business days). From Chase to Bank of America it takes 1 business day. I have not tested it from Bank of America to Chase.

        • I haven’t been able to find any information on the expected timeline for clearXchange transfers between specific member banks. The site’s FAQs section says it can take about 5 days for the recipient to receive a payment.

          I once sent a test payment from Chase to BofA (for less than $10) and it cleared immediately — not sure about the other way around though. Let me know if you end up making more of these payments. I would like to know how long they take between member banks.