Discover Financial Services’ Pulse electronic funds transfer network and Obopay plan to enable immediate funds transfers for Pulse credit union and bank members, the companies announced Feb. 23.

Obopay in September 2010 struck a similar deal with First Data Corp.’s Star network (see story). MasterCard Worldwide’s MoneySend service also uses Obopay’s technology (see story).

Financial institutions on the Pulse network may offer the person-to-person and account-to-account transfer services based on the Mobile Money for Banks and Credit Unions offering from Obopay. Participants' accountholders also can receive funds from other institutions to their debit card accounts instantly.

The Pulse offering provides a significant advantage over automated clearinghouse network payments, which often take several days to process, including immediate authorization, thus eliminating nonsufficient-funds risks and ACH returns; interchange from funds transfers for financial institutions, thus turning an expense into a revenue source; the ability for users to enter debit card numbers instead bank account and routing numbers; and expedited deposits, the companies said in a press release.

"Combining our extensive debit network with Obopay's broad range of mobile money [services] gives consumers a faster and more efficient way to pay with their debit card while also enabling new revenue generating opportunities for our participants," Judith McGuire, Pulse executive vice president of product management, said in the release. "A growing number of mobility-minded consumers require instant payments and transfers.”

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