Mercantile first to offer PayPal plan

May 24, 2010
| By Pete Daly |
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Mercantile Bank of Michigan announced last week that it has partnered with PayPal, the online payment platform, to launch MercMobile Personal Payments, a new service that allows personal payments by cell phone.

According to Mercantile representatives, it is the first bank in the United States to offer a mobile personal payment service via PayPal.

Last fall, eBay Inc., parent company of PayPal, began encouraging outside software developers to create mobile applications that use PayPal as the means of payment, according to eBay CEO John Donahoe. He told the Associated Press that 30,000 developers signed up to create PayPal-based applications. Among the third-party applications being worked on now are services that would enable restaurants or retailers to collect payments via PayPal on a customer’s mobile phone.

Users of the new MercMobile Personal Payments service can transfer money from their accounts to any individual or business simply by entering the recipient’s e-mail address or cell phone number. Once the payment is sent, the recipient receives an e-mail and/or text message confirming receipt of the funds.

More than 78 million people use PayPal around the world.

“Many of our customers already use PayPal to make online purchases,” said John Schulte, chief information officer for Mercantile Bank. “They’ll find it just as easy to use MercMobile Personal Payments to split the tab at a restaurant, pay the babysitter, send money to the kids …”

MercMobile Personal Payments is one of several new convenience products being introduced by Mercantile Bank to allow its customers to bank when and where they want to.

FinanceWorks is an online financial management tool using Quicken, which enables Mercantile customers to manage all their accounts and bills — even at other financial institutions — in one place. Users can create budgets, track spending, generate reports at tax time and more.

Online Account Opening allows new and existing customers to open an account without ever visiting a Mercantile Bank branch office.

Last year, Mercantile Bank became the first bank in Michigan to offer a remote deposit capture service for individual consumers. Merc@Home Deposit lets customers scan their checks at home and send them online for deposit.

“These are all free services,” said Michelle Shangraw, senior vice president and retail banking director at Mercantile. “We’re not nickel-and-diming people with fees.”

She added that all Mercantile customers can now do all their banking without ever visiting one of the bank’s branch offices.

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