WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. - NYCE Corp. said Tuesday that it has processed the first consumer-initiated funds transfer ever to be conducted in real time on the Internet between financial institution accounts.

NYCE ran the test with Citibank and People's Bank of Bridgeport, Conn. A Citibank customer initiated a funds transfer from a Citibank account to an account at People's.

The participating institutions said they hope to develop a person-to-person payment offering.

In the sample transaction, the Citibank customer logged on to a Citibank Web page designed for person-to-person transactions, entered the amount to be transferred, and entered the ATM/debit card number of the People's Bank accountholder to whom the money was being transferred.

Citibank verified that the sender had sufficient funds in his account, debited the customer's account, and routed the transaction to NYCE, which in turn routed it to People's Bank. The bank verified the ATM/debit card number and credited the recipient's account. The Citibank customer then got a confirmation message.

"The extension of NYCE's infrastructure for this type of transaction will open a new world of payments and funds transfer options for consumers - and, in turn, provide new revenue opportunities for financial institutions," said Michael J. Cataldo, first vice president of processing operations at People's Bank.

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