When I wrote about the RevolutionCard back in last September, I didn’t pay much attention to the other product, RevolutionMoneyExchange, from the same company. The reason for me not feel excited by the new product was 1) I didn’t use a lot person-to-person fund transfer and 2) I already have a Paypal account which is much more popular than RevolutionMoneyExchange and it’s market leading position is unlikely to be threatened by the newcomer.
Early last week, I received an email from RevolutionMoneyExchange, inviting me to join their program with a $25 sign-up bonus. The incentive was there when I first knew the product half a year ago, so I decided to give it a try and take the free money
How it works
If you use Paypal, then RevolutionMoneyExchange (RME) isn’t of much difference in the way it works. Basically, it allows account holders to send and receive money (money exchange) fast and securely. So to use the service, the parties have to have RME accounts. Like Paypal which serves as a tool for merchants to make and receive payments, RME also claims that it provides tools for online sellers. However, I didn’t notice any such function from my account. I feel that RME’s primary function is to exchange money between members and most of its services, such as send and receive money are free of charge (fee schedule).
Account opening process
Opening a MoneyExchange account is easy, taking only a couple of minutes to complete.
While most information required during the sign-up process is standard, I did hesitate a little bit when I was asked to provide my social security number. According to the website, the reason for asking SSN and DoB is
To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. What this means for you: When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask for other identifying documents.
I don’t remember whether I was asked for such information when signing up with Paypal, but it’s required with RME. If you feel uncomfortable giving away your personal information to a website that you are not familiar with, you can always stop here and cancel the process.
RME’s main interface is quite straightforward, without many fancy features, which I think is appropriate to perform the simple function of sending and receiving money. All the three major functions, send, add, and get money, are centered in the account overview page with huge buttons to provide easy access.
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In order to send or withdraw money, the RME account must be connected a bank account. RME supports ACH transfer and the connected external bank account needs to be verified before any deposit or withdrawal can be made. The easies account ownership verification is online verification: RME makes to small deposits (in cents) to the linked bank account and after the deposits are made, account owner needs to enter the deposit amount in the RME account. The trail deposits showed up in my bank account the next day after I signed up and the verification was completed immediately after I correctly entered the amounts from the two trail deposits.
Just like sending money in Paypal, money is also sent between MoneyExchange members via email in RME. I tested the Send Money function by sending the bonus to myself. Before the request can be processed, I have to enter a security PIN that was established when I opened the account. That’s a feature that Paypal doesn’t have.
An email notification was sent to me after I submitted my request. In order to receive the fund, however, the recipient also has to have a RME account. What if the person doesn’t have an account? Then there’s no way for him/her to get the money and if the money is not claimed within 30 days, the request will be canceled.
If I want to withdraw fund from my own account, I can do it using ACH to send the money right to my own bank account. According to RME, that process can take 2-3 business days, which is quite normal. If I want to have a check mailed to me instead, then it will cost me $2.50.
Not really, from my limited experience with RME. It functions similar to Paypal, but isn’t as comprehensive. In fact, I failed to notice any unique feature that makes the new product stands out. While RME claims that it provides cost-efficient ways to online business owners to do business on the internet, no details of how business owners will be charged for using their service is currently available on their website. Given all of these, I wonder how it will compete against Paypal.
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