Person-to-person, or P2P, payments are a quick and convenient way to send money – you can easily pay a roommate your share of the household expenses or split the cost of dinner with friends.
But when money moves that fast, it’s important that you know who’s on the receiving end.
“Person to person payments have the power to provide plenty of benefits across all of society,” says Tim Mills, Emerging and Digital Payments group manager at Regions. “However, users should ensure they are well informed and exercise good judgement before ever hitting send on a P2P payment.”
Here are 5 tips that can help keep you – and your money – safe when using P2P payments.
- Only send money to those you know and trust
Be wary of sending – or receiving – a payment from an individual or business you don’t know. If someone you don’t know is actively soliciting a payment, it’s likely a scam, particularly if they are persistent in requesting the payment and trying to create a sense of urgency surrounding the payment. It’s best to use P2P payments with only friends, family and others you know and trust.
- Verify, verify, verify
Before you send any payment via a P2P platform, ensure that you verify the phone number, email and/or User ID of the recipient. Contact the person directly – outside of the P2P platform – to confirm this information.
- Treat any P2P payment like cash
Like cash that is given away, assume that once any P2P payment is gone, it cannot be recovered. Unlike some payment methods such as credit or debit card payments, most P2P payments provide very little recourse if the payment was sent in error or if you want to dispute the transaction.
- Be careful of how much information you share about P2P transactions
Some P2P platforms allow you to automatically socialize the transaction, such as “You paid John Smith $50 for concert tickets” and share with other users within the platform or even on social media. Be sure to check your settings and make sure you’re only sharing the information you want with the users you want. Most platforms have a setting that will allow you to keep transactions private, where only you and the person sending or receiving the money will see.
- Know your financial institution will not ask you to send a P2P payment
Be wary of any message claiming to be from your financial institution requesting that you make a P2P payment as a test or to avoid fraud. This is a common scam and you should contact your financial institution directly if you receive a message like this.
If you think you have been a victim of a P2P scam, contact the P2P provider, your financial institution and local law enforcement. While it may be difficult to recover funds you authorized to be sent, notifying these authorities may help prevent future fraud.
The information presented is general in nature and should not be considered, legal, accounting or tax advice. Regions reminds its customers that they should be vigilant about fraud and security and that they are responsible for taking action to protect their computer systems. Fraud prevention requires a continuous review of your policies and practices, as the threat evolves daily. There is no guarantee that all fraudulent transactions will be prevented or that related financial losses will not occur. Visit regions.com/STOPFRAUD or speak with your Banker for further information on how you can help prevent fraud