Let's face it: checks aren't convenient. If you're using them to pay for something, there's all the extra writing and mailing. If you're receiving them, there's a whole process for getting them into your account. Well, MasterCard says it solved the convenience issue with Send: a new system that allows businesses and individuals to securely exchange funds in minutes. This means that you'll no longer have to wait for a check to clear or for the transfer to go through. While businesses looking to send refunds, claims payments and rebates are a key focus, MasterCard is letting regular folks leverage the system to send money to friends and family, too. What's more, you don't have to be one of its customers to opt in, and you can use Send to pay for goods at participating retailers.
You can connect a debit card to access funds, but whoever you're sending currency to doesn't need a bank account as it'll work with services like Western Union. Since it's said to be available on any device, we'd surmise that the whole thing is driven by an app of some sort, but MasterCard hasn't spilled those details just yet. Send is live in the US, with Berkshire Hathaway and FreeShipping.com being the first to sign on. We'll be curious to see if it can take on the likes of PayPal and Venmo for beaming money to pals from across the table -- should the need arise.
[Image credit: AP Photo/Toby Talbot]