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Online peer-to-peer, or P2P, payment systems let you send money to people quickly. I’ve used them to collect money from the parents on my daughter’s soccer team and to send money to my brothers when we’ve bought a gift for a friend. Personally, I almost always know where my phone is, but I can’t say the same for my checkbook.

The use of these services is a growing trend—I just read an article that estimates there will be more than $700 billion in peer-to-peer payments in the U.S. in 2018. There are several mobile peer-to-peer apps out there already and banks are also getting into the game. If you use a peer-to-peer payment system, here are some tips to keep in mind.peer to peer payments

  • In many apps, when you receive a payment, the money is added to your P2P system balance. It’ll remain there until you transfer it to your bank account or use it for another transaction within the system. If you transfer the balance to your bank account, confirm that the deposit went through. The transfer could take a few days or even longer if it’s flagged for additional review.
  • Scammers try to get you to pay them in many different ways—including by sending money online—so make sure you know who you’re sending money to. If you use the service to receive money from someone you don’t know personally—maybe as payment for tickets to a concert or a game, or for an item you’re selling—transfer the money to your bank account and make sure the money is there before you send any goods. Read the terms of service if you’re not sure if these kinds of transactions are permitted on the service you use.
  • Peer-to-peer payment systems require access to your financial information, so check your account settings to see if you can enable additional security measures that aren’t on by default. Consider turning on multi-factor authentication, requiring a PIN, or using fingerprint recognition like Touch ID.
  • Some systems or apps might share information about your transactions on social media. Check social media permissions or settings—some may be set to share your information with everyone by default. Adjust your settings based on what you’re comfortable sharing.

Venmo, one of the players in this space, just reached a settlement with the FTC for some of its alleged practices. You can read more about it on our business blog.

Check out more tips from the FTC about steps you can take to protect your personal information online.

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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February 27, 2018
Excellent information, useful and important.
February 27, 2018

you dont understand me or what ? iasked you to help me , i played sweeptakes 5 mounth i winn like 6 times i did servey clime to help people who, member on this site they newer pay me nothing , but sweeptakes promice me to pay my winner money, but newer pay me, every time he send me emails that he did delivery 6 time on my adress, and my name it was fake, he newer send me money but he every time scam me today will be delivery but it was scam, all 6 month just promice me to pay but nothing i dont know who can help me, i want to do something withmyself, i need money, how many time i asked him that ,i need money because i am very sick every day i go to the hospital to do treatment my medicaide dont cower any , medecine, i need cash to buy medecine, i know sweeptakes have my money if you wish you can see my account i winn some items iphone, ipod, but i dont get nothing i send all scam emails to abuse department pch the told me to write the letter for you, and they gave me your site, my situation very bad, he know, everything about my situation but newer help me ,so, all my winner money items he take, and all may be you can help me, with this problem, i played because i need money this is first time when, i start to play, but its not help me sweeptakes newer afraid, so i dont know who, can help me, get disability 800 dolar, how do you think to pay rent, conedison, phones, cable, sometimes i borrow money and, when i will get tax return ,i have to pay them who borrow money, so my life is, very bad, i had hope, that if i winn money, i can live like all american peoples, but no, sweeptakes just like himself, if i die he dont care, but every day he send me please do servey gift cart or clime like iphone i do, because may be he man and understand my problems i hope, but its nothing i can do, or tell me who, can help me, thank you for your attention

February 27, 2018
Thanks as usual for the great info. Will pass on to my daughter and any other relatives and friends.
February 27, 2018
@DINAZ: You are being scammed. Please stop this practice. Someone is conning you. DON'T DO IT ANYMORE.
Jan the Widow
March 12, 2018
I get e mails supposedly from My bank, saying there is unusual activity going on, and they ask for all My personal information so I can use My account. I know this is a scam. I went into My bank statement, and everything is ok. If anything is wrong, My bank will call Me, but they don't send e mails
Lloyd R
March 12, 2018

Scams are real, from health care to financial services scammers are attempting to get access to your personal data. Taking precautions is using payment aps should be a priority for consumers. I received at least two fake request from bank that where I done even have accounts. This

May 27, 2022

Someone said they were going to pay me by CashApp and he said the money would be held until I furnished a UPS tracking number but the email I got supposedly from Zellepay showed it came from a Gmail account and the writing in the email didn’t seem right and the sender wasn’t from America judging from his accent when I called him in the messenger app. Also my CashApp app didn’t show any activity so I figured it was a scam. I put the phone on FB Marketplace and I’m wandering if scammers are preying on users of the service?