E-Payments at Forefront of Citigroup/AOL Alliance

Nowadays, if you owed a friend money, you would either pay that person in cash or write him or her a check, right?

In the near future, the whole scenario could change, based on talks between online provider America Online and banking giant Citigroup.

The two companies predict e-payment is about to become mainstream as the two work to set up a way to transfer electronic payments to individuals through online banking. Citigroup announced last month that its c2it service enables person-to-person banking, but the relationship with AOL also provides a way for Citigroup to push out the product to AOL the huge subscriber database.

Statistics indicate that by 2005, e-payment transactions may be as great as $2.2 trillion, with a projected $126 billion of that amount attributed to person-to-person transactions. The reasoning behind the surge in this kind of banking is attributed to security in that checking account transfers are more secure than credit card transactions.

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