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Fiserv unveils P2P payments service

10 May 2010  |  10647 views  |  1 US note back

US vendor Fiserv is previewing a person-to-person payments service that lets users send money directly from their bank accounts to anyone they know using only an e-mail address or mobile phone number.

The ZashPay service will be available to a network of more than 3100 financial institutions and 16 million consumers that already use Fiserv's CheckFree RXP online bill payment service.

Banks can integrate it into their Web sites when the service launches this summer. Fiserv has also developed a public site for people whose banks are not part of the network.

Users of ZashPay will be able to send money to anyone, with payments deposited directly into the recipient's account if their bank is part of the network. If their institution is not, they will be able to claim their money at the public site. Payments will be delivered in as little as one business day, with confirmation sent to the recipient's e-mail address or mobile number.

Fiserv says that because consumers will be able to use ZashPay through their financial institution, it will eliminate the need to fund a separate account or share information with a third party, improving security and convenience.

Erich Litch, general manager, consumer services, Fiserv, says: "Consumers are looking for faster and easier ways to send and receive money among their friends, family, neighbours and colleagues, yet current electronic payment options are often a hassle and too slow. ZashPay will be accessible through the online banking sites of participating banks and credit unions and will use consumers' existing financial accounts rather than require them to sign up for and fund a third party account."

Nearly half of Americans that bank online are interested in using electronic person-to-person payments, according to research published last month and sponsored by Fis, PayPal and Nacha.

Comments: (1)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 12 May, 2010, 08:08

Whether it's ACH or Expedited Payments in the US, FPS or BACS in the UK, or NEFT in India, most bank provided electronic person-to-person solutions that I'm familiar with require the sender to know the receiver's bank account number and sort code (among other information) and enter them accurately. The sender is held totally responsible in case they end up entering incorrect information for whatever reasons. I have yet to come across a single bank that verifies the information in real-time and assures the sender that the entered combination of account name and sort code indeed belongs to the intended receiver.

This is bound to cause a lot of anxiety to many people, thereby reducing the number of people who go ahead with using these eP2P products, especially when they face no such complications when they write a cheque. I am sure this stunts mass adoption of eP2P products, something that might be borne out if banks monitor "abandonment rates" on their eP2P transaction screens.

Against this backdrop, FiServ's product sounds promising. By asking the sender to only enter the recipient's email address or mobile phone number, it removes a major area of friction that afflicts all present eP2P solutions. As a result, it should gain rapid popularity among customers of banks. However, since it has the potential to cannibalize usage of alternative fee-generating products already offered by banks, it remains to be seen how extensively FiServ manages to gain their acceptance.

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