Visa's New System Lets People Pay Each Other Without Cash

swiping a credit card - pay with mobile phone
swiping a credit card - pay with mobile phone

Although many of us get our paychecks direct-deposited into our bank accounts and pay for many daily expenses with the swipe of a debit or credit card, there's one aspect where commercial activity is several decades behind: person-to-person transactions.

So if you ask a colleague to grab you lunch when he goes to the deli or you hire a babysitter for a night out without the kids, you either have to have cash on hand -- and exact change, at that -- or go through the hassle of writing them a check. Sure, there's PayPal, but that involves setting up an account and agreeing to letting them take a cut off the top.

In other words, there's never been a good, hassle-free solution for peer-to-peer transactions. According to the news, that might be changing.