The "P2P" Payments Battle is Raging

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25 May 2012
Jacob Jegher
There are so many choices when it comes to P2P services offered by banks. Yesterday, clearXchange announced that it has finally gone live for payments being sent between Wells Fargo and Bank of America. This isn't the first big move in this space in 2012 - Fiserv announced in late February that it is combining ZashPay and Popmoney. There's a battle taking place, and it's not going to be pretty, especially as clearXchange adds more banks into its mix. What does this all mean? There are several important questions to be answered regarding consumer payment solutions offered by banks:
  1. Can banks dominate the P2P payments landscape? Will customers go to banks or alternative payments providers?
  2. Is there really a difference to the customer between a "P2P" payment or a bill payment (a payment is a payment)?
  3. How do mobile and tablet devices factor into the picture?

There are going to be some significant changes over the next few years to the consumer payment options offered by financial institutions. I'm going to address these questions and more in an upcoming report - stay tuned! In the meantime, please weigh in with your comments and questions.


  • Great post, Jacob.

    In my opinion ...
    1) Banks need to be part of the P2P payments landscape, but there will be a mix of providers
    2) Agree ... a payment is a payment ... tired of the giggling I get from my kids when I try to explain what P2P is ... it's a payment. If anything, it implies speed of receipt of funds, which may not be quite available yet (well, you get the receipt quickly, but usually have to wait for the funds)
    3) Mobile and tablets are integral to the future of payments - whether its at POS, to a friend or small business (P2P), or for a planned payment.

    See you next month at your Innovation & Insight day!

  • Thanks for your comments Chris, all well stated as usual. I look forward to seeing you in Charlotte!

  • A payment is a payment. Not.

    The payment infrastructure we use will determine the kind of service options we want. Do you want to use a traditional bank based on an extractive business model that has caused international financial crisis, privatised profit and socialised debt? Or do you want to use a P2P banking transaction solution based on transformative social innovation business, in a continuous state of beta flux, adapting to the customers needs with out creating debt, using only money that exists?

    I know which one I'll be choosing.

  • Great comment Oliver.

    You are correct regarding payment choices, and those are some of the issues that will be explored in the report.

    However, to a consumer a payment is a payment - P2P, bill payment, ACH, wire, etc. make no difference - these are just terms that have caused product and solution segmentation.

  • I'm not too sure if payments is the issue but from which account will you make the payment from?This will determin what kind of digital infrastructure will dominate the transaction landscape of the future. All banking models will thus be repurposed. In a network society, free transactions are already available, it's now just a matter of time before digital money is also free, frictionless. Again the question is from what kind of P2P account will you choose to make the transactions from? After all the currency isn't going to change and trade is just trade.

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