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US banks roll out P2P payments platform

24 May 2012  |  11666 views  |  2 Wells Fargo M-banking

Bank of America and Wells Fargo have gone live with the clearXchange person-to-person payments platform, which enables users to send and receive payments through online and mobile banking using just an e-mail address or mobile phone number.

Bank of America, JPMorgan, and Wells Fargo announced plans for the clearXchange system in May last year. The collaborative venture is intended to provide a competitive deterrent to PayPal and other vendor-led programmes such as Fiserv's Popmoney from encroaching on the banks' core payments territory. The founding banks will own the processing platform, but plan to expand it to other financial institutions in the near future.

Following a one-month trial run in Arizona, Wells is the first of the three JV partners to take the service nationwide, branding it simply as Send and Receive Money.

Brett Pitts, senior vice president at Wells Fargo's Internet services group, says: "With Send & Receive Money customers can send payments electronically to others without having to know their sensitive financial information, such as bank account numbers. As mobile money transfer becomes more common, remembering multiple account numbers will be harder. Send & Receive Money allows customers to pay another person using information they typically either know or have programmed on their phone."

Initially, both the sender and the receiver of the money need to be a customer of one of those three banks, but over time the service will be expanded to encompass other banks says Pitts.

Comments: (2)

Srinivas Chintakrinda
Srinivas Chintakrinda - Capgemini - Minneapolis | 25 May, 2012, 05:29

Is this some thing different to that of one implmented in India as IMPS based on mobile telephone number ?

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Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 25 May, 2012, 13:32

Hi Srinivas C: 

Nice to see you on Finextra!

Far as I know, there are at least two key differences: (1) IMPS requires the sender and receiver to be pre-registered with IMPS and obtain a certain MMID # before the payment can be initiated (2) IMPS payments can only be sent to the beneficiary's MMID #, not email address or mobile phone #.

Whereas, in the case of clearXchange, PopMoney, ZashPay and PingIt, only the sender has to be pre-registered with the respective service before the payment can be initiated. Sender simply sends money to the beneficiary's email or mobile phone #. Beneficiary needs to register with the service only upon hearing that, by doing so, they can collect some money. This is similar to the manner in which Hotmail and PayPal became viral when they launched more than 10-15 years ago. 

While these differences might sound technically minor, PayPal, PopMoney et al have designed their service to resonate far better with typical consumer behavior and have been rewarded with significant mainstream adoption. Whereas, I won't be surprised if IMPS heads the way of Nokia Money, whose design suffered from the same friction as IMPS' does.

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