Money in the Bank is a Great Stocking Stuffer

This holiday season, keep the sweater, the pajamas and especially the fruitcake, because a recent national survey commissioned by Fiserv shows that 94 percent of Americans would welcome money as a gift. With Christmas as one of the top gift-giving occasions, it's an opportune time for banks and credit unions to remind consumers of the ways they can make it more convenient to give the gift of greenbacks.

A person-to-person payment service like Popmoney®, which enables consumers to send money using the recipient's email address or mobile phone number, is a great option for fuss-free, last-minute gift giving. Marketing materials – brochures, postcards, statement inserts, banner ads, social media messaging and emails – are available to help promote person-to-person gift payments to consumers.

Receive an unexpected gift?

While monetary gifts are a top-five Popmoney payment type year-round, there is a marked increase in "gifting" payments during the holiday season. There's often a nagging hesitation when giving a monetary gift, however. Despite recipients' interest in receiving money, many givers want their gifts to have a more personalized touch. This concern can be overcome with a personalized eGreeting, which can be selected by the giver and is delivered to the recipient along with the notification that they have been sent money.

Prepaid reloadable cards and gift cards from your bank or credit union are also convenient, safe alternatives to sending checks and cash. Promoting these products is another good way to position your financial institution as the go-to place for monetary gifts – and perhaps establish new one-on-one relationships with the recipients.

It's clear that more and more Americans are gravitating to electronic payment methods to send, request and receive money. The results of the 2013 Fiserv national survey ["How Americans Pay Each Other"] show that 80 percent of Americans believe that mobile, online and other electronic payment methods make it more convenient to make and track financial transactions. The same survey found that 64 percent would rather use a person-to-person payment service from their bank than use a check. And here's a cautionary tale – 22 percent of the respondents admitted to losing money because they had lost a check or forgot to deposit it.

Capitalizing on the growing trend of electronic payments is a good way to take a little of the hassle out of the holidays for consumers.

Gift-giving is often a time-consuming and complex venture. This holiday, remind consumers that giving money is sometimes the best gift-giving option. It's likely just what they've always wanted.

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