Big Banks Try to Steal PayPal's Thunder

Google meanwhile to let you pay with swipe of the phone

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted May 25, 2011 1:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – Big changes could be afoot in the way Americans pay for stuff. Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo are introducing a new service that will let customers easily transfer money from their checking account to someone else’s, the Wall Street Journal reports. The banks are hoping the service competes with eBay’s popular PayPal service, which now handles a lot of the transactions people used to use checks for. The payments could even be made on the go from a smart phone.

Google, meanwhile, will tomorrow announce a system that will let some Android users swipe their phones at retail registers to make payments or claim discounts from sites like Groupon. For now it’ll only be available on some Sprint phones and at select retailers with the right tech, but it’s expected to expand—and Apple’s planning something similar, Bloomberg reports. Both technologies could pose a threat to the bundles of fees banks pull in from retailers.

In this April 21, 2008 file photo, a sign for a Bank of America branch is shown in Charlotte, N.C.
In this April 21, 2008 file photo, a sign for a Bank of America branch is shown in Charlotte, N.C.   (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)
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