Two paradigms in person-to-person electronic payments are emerging, and some banks seem to be lining up behind both of them.

The systems in commercial use today, which are offered in one form or another by such banks as Citigroup Inc., Bank One Corp., and Wells Fargo & Co., are Internet-based money transfer methods that rely on e-mail, and do not move money in real time. Some of these — including PayPal Inc., which just signed a major cooperation deal with the credit card issuer Providian Financial Corp. — have been expanding their businesses, letting people make person-to-person payments from mobile devices and at the point of sale, as well as through the Internet.

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