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Money Hack: How to get $5 plus a way to instantly pay your friends


payment app

As long as you have a Mastercard or Visa debit card, you can use this hack – and so can all your friends.

Australia has long been ahead of the game in payments. We started tapping our cards to make payments while the US was still relying on cheques, and now tapping your phone to pay has almost become the norm. But one thing we are still lagging on is instant transfers.

For years, we've relied on BSBs and account numbers, which then required the dreaded trawling through your statement 24-48 hours later to see if everyone at the group dinner had actually paid you. And don't get me started on the awkward "Did you remember to transfer that $10?" message.

So how do we avoid BSBs and account numbers as well as transfers that take days and the awkward follow-up message?

The hack

New app Beem It, a collaborative effort between CommBank, NAB and Westpac, allows you to instantly transfer money to anyone that has a Mastercard or Visa debit card. It's free to use and for a limited time you'll receive $5 just for signing up.

Here's how it works:

Sign up for the app and set up your account. It just takes a few minutes and is relatively simple, only requiring the debit card you want to use, a few personal details and your driver's licence to verify your identity. You can then see who from your contact list has Beem It (you can send someone money without them having the app, but they will receive a text message prompt for them to download the app in order to receive the money).

You can send funds to people or request money from someone or a group of up to 10 people.

While split payment apps have been around for a little bit, the lure of Beem It lies in its instant transfers. After sending money, the recipient will get it in their account within 10 seconds or so, no matter what time of the day or night you send it. The interface is also very social and easy to use. Our Beem It tester Alison used the app and said she and her friend "couldn't resist" sending $1 back and forth just for the fun of it.

You can currently download the app for free on Android or iPhone.

finder money hacks is a bi-weekly round-up of the latest tips and tricks to improve your finances. Check back every Wednesday and Saturday for new hacks.

Picture: Shutterstock

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