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The Associated Press March 16, 2011, 4:21PM ET

Visa lets people use plastic to pay one another

No cash on hand to pay the babysitter? Owe your mom $10? Soon you'll be able to send payments directly to their Visa card.

Visa Inc. on Wednesday said it is creating a service to allow individuals to use their own Visa or a bank account to send money to a personal Visa debit, credit or prepaid card. Users also may bring cash to a participating bank to make a transfer.

Users also will be able to send money using a recipient's mobile phone number or e-mail address. In those cases, recipients will receive a message that someone is sending them money and then enter their own Visa account number to receive it.

Money transferred to debit and prepaid cards will be treated as deposits. Money sent to Visa credit cards will be treated as a payment.

Visa has partnered with two companies that provide technology to banks, Fiserv Inc. and CashEdge Inc.

Fiserv operates the ZashPay network, which already is used by about 500 banks and credit unions for person-to-person payments. Fiserv said Wednesday that working with Visa will greatly expand its service, which transfers payments in as short a period as one day.

About 200 banks, including several of the nation's largest, already use CashEdge's PopMoney service.

The increasingly competitive field of person-to-person payments includes eBay's PayPal and a handful of other companies. One advantage Visa will have in the market is that there are about 1.85 billion Visa cards in circulation worldwide.

Kelly Alpert of Visa's digital money transfer unit said it's expected that banks will start taking part in the service at mid-year. Any fees related to sending money will be determined by the banks, she said.

It will build on Visa's international money transfer business. The company already handles international remittances and person-to-person payments in conjunction with MoneyGram International and Bancomer Transfer Services Inc.

Visa shares added 23 cents to $71.45 in midday trading.

EBay shares fell 38 cents to $30.06.

Fiserv shares fell 14 cents to $58.41.

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