Just handing over paper money is sooooo 2010, and it’s honestly just a little icky these days. Like most modern humanoids, I live a more digital life.
But it’s a little like speaking multiple languages; everyone needs more than one payment method on hand in order to have the best odds of aligning with another person’s mix. I have to have several ways to move money around digitally.
Personally, I use PayPal quite a bit when buying or selling weird old parts for weird old motorcycles. It’s been the default on eBay for a long time.
My sister and I often use the Cash app to chip in on Christmas or birthday presents, or buy dinner. I recently used the Cash app to pay for some tree clearing work, too.
And Square is a super-convenient way to accept credit cards from friends for motorcycle parts, lunch, and so forth. I’ve used Venmo a few times, when that’s what the other person wanted to use.
But adding yet another P2P payment method isn’t really solving the problem, it’s adding to it.
There are lots of other big names and everyone’s mix is different, but the tricky bit here is balancing safety with speed and ease of use. All these connect to a “real” checking account and/or credit card at a “real” credit union or bank in some way.
The problem with this is that the payments provider then has full access to my entire available real checking or credit card balance. If they have a little problem, then I could have a big problem.
Keeping things safe and easy
When possible, my online accounts are linked to a second account at my credit union under a different account number. I keep only what’s needed in this account, and can transfer in and out to my main account number easily.
But some providers still have to be linked to my real credit or debit card. I keep close tabs on things, but it’s all a little worrisome.
And of course, it’s also kind of tedious. I have to remember to check when a payment is going in or out, and remember and manage the transfers.
Gosh, it sure would be nice if my credit union automated a lot of this…
What if your credit union could come up with a package of account features to make digital money easier and safer?
My wish list for a Digital Life Account
Some of these features might not be practical. But bits and pieces of most of this stuff is already in existence somewhere, and many features could be implemented just about anywhere.
And of course, it’s quite possible you can just relabel or bundle things your online banking, bill pay, or mobile app are already doing.
- Separate account number
- Easy and automatic process to create new linked accounts with new numbers
- Cross-account access via online/mobile banking
- Easy direct transfers to other members of the same credit union
- Virtual debit and credit card numbers with configurable limits
- One-time use checking, debit, and credit card numbers
- Easy to configure transaction alerts via text or email, based on specific conditions
- Automatic transfers on a timetable or when balances hit certain points
- Automated actions based on description. For example, if a deposit from Square comes in, sweep it out immediately to a specific account. If it’s from PayPal, wait 24 hours and move half, etc.
- Configurable and changeable transaction limits
- The ability to turn an account or card “off” or “on” as needed
- The ability to send and automate payments via your preferred method from inside your online banking, bill pay, or mobile app
- Enhanced fraud detection and alerts
- The ability to “pre-alert” fraud detection so it doesn’t trigger a false alarm, much like travel notifications
- Configurable reports (For example, grouping payments activity by source)
- Alerts when something changes (like a new card is issued) and you might need to update your account on a payment service or regular transaction
Of course, that’s my wish list. Your team and your members are going to have a different wish list and new ideas of your own!
You’re very welcome!
Here at iDiz Inc., we’re all about ideas. After all, it’s right there in our name – “ideas” is how “iDiz” is pronounced. So take this idea and run with it.
The overall idea is simple, but the details can get complex; you’ll need a solid plan for communicating, marketing, and providing online training, videos, and help.