PayPal Alternative? - What's your opinion?

I'm thinking about opening an electronic checking account with ING that would allow me to avoid PayPal fees. Basically the account would allow me to send money to anyone as long as I had their email address. Once I direct the funds to go to that person, ING pulls the money from my account, and sends the recipient an email that money is available. The recipient clicks the link in the email, inputs their own bank routing number and account number, and - zip - the money is theirs.

Does anyone already use this? Or would you be willing to input your bank info to receive money in this way?
One more point: The seller would need to provide their bank routing number and account number to the buyer so this transaction could be initiated. This may make some sellers nervous, but if you think about it that information is on the bottom of every check put into the hands of every person you write a check to.

Lastly, once the recipient of the funds confirms their info in the email from ING, it can take up to two business days for the funds to clear - which is faster than personal checks and even cashier's checks these days as banks have become hesitant to accept those as immediate collected funds.
I would never send my bank info to anyone, even Paypal verification makes me nervous. There's got to be a better way.
So, do you never write a personal check to anyone?
PayPal may not be all that it could be, and it is very expensive for what it does, but in my experience it is not only convienient, but also does provide a degree of recourse if you run into trouble with a sale where, for example, a seller is flaky and doesn't ship goods etc.

I prefer to use CC's where possible though for the same access to recourse for flaky internet sales people. Less of a hassle.

Checks and MO's for used merchandise from individuals - never! I'm not that trusting. :-)
What's in it for ING?
I have done a few transaction with ING. It's the best alternative to Paypal. Fast,reliable and no absurd fees like Paypal.
I'm not an expert, but since the ING "electric checking" does not provide customers with paper checks or brick and mortar locations, they have to provide some nice electronic options for getting money to payees - and ultimately to attract customers at all.
The question: what's in it for ING: they have a service that in ten years could rival PayPal. They get to serve customers in a way that attracts business. They are initiating an easy for them electronic service, it cost's them nearly nothing, and have future potential to be a BIG thing someday. PayPal had to start with ONE CUSTOMER too.
I have no contact with ING, no do I bank there. It just sounds like a good service. And PayPal, which SUCKS bigtime, can get a bit nervous (hopefully) and stop being such b* (you know)
Except for their high fees structure, there is nothing wrong with Paypal as far as security and verification process. It's actually very safe in my opinion.
I think it's a great idea. I wish Chase had that option.

I often use bank wire transfers, and each party has to provide their bank routing number and account number. It can get complicated if someone leaves out a digit, and fees result if the money has to be returned due to a clerical error. The ING method sounds much easier.

Still, though, as a buyer I prefer to make payments via credit card, even if I incur an additional Paypal fee. I like the protection and power of a charge back in the event things turn south.
I agree with those who say that Paypal sucks!

And, I agree with those who say that buying with Paypal is just fine too!

As much as I dislike Paypal, I will state that they take care of people who buy with Paypal, as they get the benefit of the doubt whenever a transaction goes bad. I certainly prefer to buy with Paypal via my credit card.

However, as a seller, I definitely state that I do not take Paypal, for that exact same reason, because as a seller you have all of the responsibility, and none of the rights. I am an honorable seller, and if something goes wrong, I will, (as I have in the past), make it right.

I prefer wire transfers myself, because I have an account with one dollar in it that I let people transfer money into, and as soon as the money is there, I take it out, and then complete the transaction. I don't have to worry about Paypal yanking money out of my account because of some scam artist.

My two cents worth anyway.
If you pay thru PP using an e-check from your bank acct.,neither you or the seller has to pay fees.I have used this method several times with no problems.As far as not wanting to put your acct. info out there,it's too late.If you write checks,use a debit/credit card or paid by any electronic means(auto bill pay,etc.),your info is in cyberspace already.Unscrupulous people will find your info if they want to bad enough.These are just my opinions so if you disagree,that's fine.Good evening to all.
Every bank does this now. It's called wiring money. The difference as you describe it is that ING is not charging a fee where most banks charge $20-$30 to wire money. However I suspect they are charging a fee somewhere in the fine print and you have not been able to discern it yet.

Personally I am doubtful most users will ever be comfortable with giving you their bank info. Yes Grannyring you are correct about the check information on the check, but I think you'll be pushing a rock up hill trying to convince many that it's OK to give that info out.

Paypal charges too much for what they do in relation to what we do. 3.5% is inconsequential when you transact $10, but it becomes substantial when it is $10,000. They need a sliding scale payment system, but since they're making money hand over fist I don't see that changing unless a competitor comes into the market.

For me I either accept paypal if the buyer is willing to eat the fee, or I encourage the buyer to either write a personal check or get a cashier's check from a bank I have here. I specifically have a Chase account simply because it is the biggest bank with branches in the most places. If the buyer uses Wells Fargo, or Chase, or Bank of America, etc. I can simply take their personal check in to that bank and cash it. No waiting. If I am the buyer I find out who the seller banks with, or has access to if it's some small bank, and then I get a cashier's check from that bank. No waiting.

One last thought and then I'll shut up. Paypal has an e-check feature that transacts money for a $5 fee. The catch is the $ has to either be in the paypal account, or come from a bank account (as the CC company charges 3% which is why Paypal specifically encourages you to pay with a bank account, and makes it difficult to select pay by credit card). It also take 5-7 days to fully transfer.

As a buyer, when you pay with an eCheck, you lose the leverage of a credit card chargeback. This is reason enough for me not to use an eCheck for big ticket items. Not to mention having to keep a large balance in the bank account to which your Paypal account is linked.

For small cost items...say up to $1000 ("small cost" is all relative), I will sometimes consider an eCheck, and I always offer the alternative to buyers when I'm a seller. It certainly saves fees.
Paypal up to about $1K is not that expensive. If cost is an issue, you can send a USPS MO or Official Bank Check via a confirmable overnight service for about $10-$12. Once you have built up good feedback over a couple of years, most sellers will not require a waiting period once they receive some form of official check or MO, especially USPS money orders that they can cash the same day. I am not familiar with ING but will check it out.

I had an experience with Paypal that contradicts your opinion, sorry to say. Two years ago I noticed $2,000 was missing from my checking account. I had authorized no transactions and was mystified. My bank found that Paypal had withdrawn the money via ACH withdrawal and posted it to my Paypal account for no reason. I bounced about 4 checks in the 24 hours before I discovered the issue. Paypal was incredibly difficult to work with, and though they had clearly withdrawn the money without authorization, they took 5 business days to return it to my account. No apologies, no explanation, nothing.

When I worked my way up the management chain looking for an answer, I was simply told that if I was dissatisfied with Paypal I should close my account. Arrogant f@#$^ng people to say the least.

Paypal may be safe in YOUR experience; but I assure you, they often screw up bigtime. A little web search will show you I am one of many to be screwed over by their poor practices.
I bought a preamp from an Audiogon member about three years ago. PayPal took the $2400 out of my checking account as usual/normal.

Two weeks later, I got a certified letter from PayPal saying I owed them $2400.00. I had a hard copy of my bank statement showing the original debit of $2400 from PayPal. I sent that to them and they still said I owed the money.

I went to my bank for help and to explain what was going on and had the branch manager of the bank send a notorized copy to PayPal. PayPal still claimed I owed the money.

About a month or so later, I got a certified letter from a collection agency saying PayPal had turned the claim over to them.

3 years later and over $600 in attorney's fees, I'm still dealing with this.

Luckily the seller got his money and didn't even know what was going on.

PayPal can kiss my hairy white butt...
Paypal and ebay both suck. They are not secure either. All someone has to do is to breach either site and they can add fake names and addresses in your account, then it looks as if you made a purchase. I had $1674.00 charged for 2 items I never bought. Of cource, I got all of my money back, but they were no help in the matter. I sold 2 items last week and they both wanted to put a hold on the funds for 21 days or force me to ship before funds went into my account or they wanted a positive feedback first. I spoke with both customers and they gave me a positive before receiving the units! So the money was released to me. I thank both customers very much for that. I have perfect feedback but I must have 100 or more (so they get more money) after that I will not be considered a crook! I also have an unpaid for item that I sold the same day. Lets see if they help me with that. Sometimes you need to use the lesser of two evils, but please beware of ebay and paypal policies. They only care about themselves! Good luck to all.
Kurt tank, your info is worth way more than 2 cents! Everyone should keep sellers aware of people wanting free lunch. I think I'll sell thru agon from now on.
Do not ever trade outside paypal unless you meet person to person. I lost nearly 4k trading with someone who I believed and to whom I wired the money. It's not worth the risk. Trust me.
I agree with Tvad. I enjoy the buyer protection that using a credit card gives me, and only Paypal can do that. I've only had to use it once, but that was on a $4500 item. W/O my CC, I would have been out that $4500. AudiogoN and Paypal can't get your money back if you have a box of trash show up at your door, but the CC bank fixed the problem.
ING blows, use Citibank.
I have opened an account that is only for paypal transaction purposes. Nothing else is there. I would suggest to do the same with any of such medias
PayPal is all about 'buyer protection'. Seller's should look upon it as 'cost to sell'. None of the banking arrangements can provide the protection, so until that happens, stay with paypal if you are a buyer.
I have an idea, let's test this system. Grannyring, you put $500 out there for me and send instructions on how to retrieve it. After the check clears I will let the other Audiogon members know how well it works. :)

That's a great idea. In fact, all of you can send me your bank routing and account numbers and I can test the security of your banking systems!
Just read some of the horror stories on PAYPALSUCKS.COM It will open your eyes and make you think of alternatives.
Bank routing and account numbers are printed on the bottom of every check. I just had someone call my bank and "pretext" to gain access to my checking account. They added a name to the account, changed the address and walked away with big bucks. Now, I'm stuck proving that I did not authorize the changes.

As far as PayPal goes, their fees are getting ridiculous. Add in Ebay fees and they can "charge" you up to 13% of the final selling price. The few times someone screwed me PayPal never stepped up to the plate and help me one bit. All though, one time Ebay stepped up and re-reimbursed me $350 after I got ripped off for over $700. Then notarized affidavits had to be filed with the FBI and it was a big PITA. They finally caught the guy and I was receiving $12 every three months in restitution, but thats stopped since the economy went south.
I have done 35 flawless transactions with PayPal since August 2008 and have never had a problem. As a buyer, you have piece of mind and as a seller, you get your money instantly. As far as the fees, I build it into the price of the unit in advance.

I disagree with Jamiek about never trading outside of Paypal.

I will NOT be using Paypal for the forseeable future and have not for several years since they made such a mess of my account and were non-to-quick at fixing things. I understand this is the exception to the vast experience out there and was for me up until several years ago prior to Paypal's screwup.

I deal with bank money orders, cashier's checks,or personal check waiting 'till it clears the bank. My largest transaction was just over $5k.
This was not meant to be pro & con of Paypal thread. I was really asking if other Agoners have used this person to person electronic banking. Seems very simple and no fees. No fees really. Nothing hidden by ING.

As far as account numbers etc. That info is on every personal check you send.

Was hoping to hear if others use this form of payment. Thus far it seems like only two others have used it.
I hate Paypal and have been screwed but it is the best solution I know of.

There is a way to use Paypal with no fee, not an echeck. Using the Personal transfer tab on the send money page there is zero fee for either party. You must have the funds in your Paypal account...not bank transfer or cc. I have not paid a fee in a very long time.

There was talk a ways back about Google starting a similar service but I guess it has gone away. Too bad because I am pretty pleased with everything they have done so far.
I just talked to Paypal, and here's what I learned:

1) To qualify for Seller's protection, you must have records of shipping and proof of delivery - and keep them for YEARS. Local pick-ups and in-person deliveries do not qualify (this is stated in the Help section of their site as well).

2) As others have mentioned on a'gon, if a stolen credit card is used to pay for the goods, the credit to the seller's account can be reversed, and the seller has no other recourse but to find the buyer and try to collect through the legal system.

#2 pretty much leaves the door wide open and basically there is absolutely no security. I contacted Paypal because I knew I was about to be scammed - am selling some wheels and the buyer offered more than the asking price, was a Malaysian (he claimed) on assignment to the UK, and would send a moving company to pick the goods up... How obvious is that scam... And this is the second time on the same item... another buyer claimed they could not talk to me on the phone because they are speech impaired.

Wire transfers appear to be a lot more secure for a seller, as it shifts all risk to the buyer. But I am not sure I would want anyone out there to be in possession of such personal information either, for identity-theft purposes.
Hhhhmmm, I only use Paypal for one-time credit-card payments. They have no access to my bank account but relented and let me use my c-c through them. No fees, no horror stories and my bank account is safe. At least from Paypal.

Am I missing something here?