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Consumers these days routinely use their PCs or mobile phones to initiate electronic payments that land in another person’s bank account. A report issued in December by Javelin Strategy & Research found that 32% of U.S. consumers had transferred money from their bank account to another person using a laptop or PC, while 25% had done so using a mobile device, and 31% had transferred funds to someone else using a nonbank provider such as PayPal.

Companies’ heavy reliance on paper checks makes them look like dinosaurs compared with consumers, but that’s beginning to change. Some banks now offer products that allow companies to send so-called “alias-based payments” to consumers via email or mobile phone.

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