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Varo Unveils Instant Payments to Anyone With US Debit Card

Real-Time Payments, P2P In Payments Digitization

Varo Bank introduced Varo to Anyone, the digital bank’s free instant payment service.

The service allows for payments from Varo Bank accounts insured up to $250,000 to be sent to anyone with a U.S. debit card, regardless of where they bank, according to a Thursday (Sept. 21) news release.

“Unlike most popular payment apps, Varo to Anyone is specifically designed to send payments to anyone with no fees, backed by an FDIC-insured national bank,” the release said. “The speed, cost-effectiveness and security inherent in Varo to Anyone are made possible by Varo’s national banking charter and distinctive tech bank business model.”

Customers can find Varo to Anyone on the “Move Money” page inside the Varo app and can send money instantly to anyone with a U.S. bank account by allowing access to their phone contacts or inputting the recipient’s U.S. phone number or email manually.

Once the money is sent, the recipient will get a text or email with instructions on receiving it by entering their debit card information in Varo Bank’s portal.

“Shortly following the successful launch of Zelle, Varo is continuing its investment and innovation in payments with Varo to Anyone,” Varo Bank CEO Colin Walsh said in the release. “We are providing the ultimate instant money flexibility, with no fee structure and the security only a bank provides.”

Closed-loop peer-to-peer (P2P) payment platforms like Zelle and Venmo are used but have limitations, “requiring each party to the transfer to use the same app,” PYMNTS reported in April. “Open-loop money transfers are seen as an answer to this problem.”

The Money Mobility Playbook,” a PYMNTS and Ingo Money collaboration, described P2P as an open-loop framework that “facilitates universal connectivity across all platforms and account types. This empowers consumers and businesses to send and receive payments to and from all available stores of value — including those that may emerge in the future.”

P2P as a payment option is also becoming a greater part of transactions involving businesses.

“No longer exclusively used to split a restaurant bill between friends, P2P may be coming into its own as a payment option for nearly all consumer-facing transactions,” PYMNTS reported in August.