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Nochex - Email Money
Member Name: Retron
Date: 13/08/01, updated on 13/08/01 (266 review reads)
Advantages: Secure, Fast, Easy to use
Disadvantages: No credit cards accepted, Limited to UK use only, 99p fees can add up quickly
If you've ever used an online auction site, you'll doubtless have seen lots of adverts for PayPal, a successful American company that lets you send payments electronically. Nochex is a UK based alternative, with the advantage of using pounds as its currency.
The idea behind Nochex is simple - it allows you to send payments to anyone with a debit card in the UK. Firstly, you have to register, which involves filling in a few forms and supplying your card details (Switch / Solo or Delta). Nochex then deposits a small amount of money in your account; once you've entered the amount into the registration forms, your card is registered with Nochex.
From then on, you can 'load' money into your account (paying a flat 99p fee in the process) and sent it to people (free). If you send money to someone without a Nochex account, they're invited to register their card details - this would be tricky if they didn't have a debit card! If someone sends money to you, you're sent an email with the details. Once you've logged in to Nochex, you can then withdraw the money (again, a flat fee of 99p per transaction is charged).
The site is well designed - no advert banners, no clutter, just the basic money transfer functions. You can access a full statement (with email addresses) if you want, and everything happens over an SSL secured link. Furthermore, if someone attempts to log into your account with the wrong password, you're sent an email informing you - a good extra touch. Nochex offers a checkout service, suitable for including in a web page, as well - a good feature for commercial users. As Nochex has links with banking services computers, any money transfers happen instantly.
The main problem with Nochex is its exclusive use of debit cards. While this is very secure (debit card transactions happen instantly, so you're assured of getting the money), it does exclude any foreign users, plus anyone without a
debit card. Accepting credit cards causes lots of problems (chargebacks, where someone uses a fake card, for example), so I can see why Nochex doesn't take them, but it's an annoyance none the less. Also, although 99p doesn't sound much, it adds up if you're making lots of transactions. Of course, you can leave the money in Nochex until you're ready to make a large withdrawal, but remember that Nochex gets the interest on your balance in this case, not you.
Overall, though, this is a highly professional and efficient service. If you (and any potential customers) are in the UK and have debit cards, it's highly recommended.