Peer-to-peer (P2P) provides a means of connnecting two computer systems together directly. The two organisations have suggested that applying this concept to financial transactions could simplify payments, particularly when the transaction amount is relatively small.
CertaPay chief executive Michael Ginsberg said: "In those situations where it's inconvenient to get cash or a cheque to someone, I'll be able to do it through my financial institution in real-time basis and in non-disputable funds. It's more like getting a money order than a cheque".
MasterCard members that install CertaPay's P2P e-mail money transfer application will allow customers to send or receive money via real-time e-mail transactions.
To transfer money using the e-mail payment feature, CertaPay customers can simply log in to their online account, insert recipient information (name, e-mail, transfer amount), identify the MasterCard account or other account from which to take the funds, and write a personal note to the recipient.
If the recipient is a customer of a bank using the CertaPay system, the funds are transferred using existing payment clearing arrangements and received in real-time, MCI said.Recipients will also receive a final confirmation of the deposit of funds.
Carl Stefanelli, vice-president of e-commerce product development at MCI, said one of the areas the technology could be used is in moving money between countries. "The alternatives [to P2P] are very expensive, whether it's dealing with a (telegram) type service or a wire transfer." Stefanelli believes such services could be adapted to cross-borders.