Bank of America, JPMorgan, and Wells Fargo have joined forces to develop a clearing house for person-to-person online payments transfer via mobile or e-mail.
In an initiative designed to wrest back control of the PayPal-dominated P2P payment market - and head off the encroachment of newcomers such as Google - the three banks say the clearXchange platform will enable customers to send money to others directly from their online bank account using just an e-mail address or phone number.
Mike Kennedy, executive vice president and head of payments strategy at Wells Fargo, says users do not have to establish a new account outside their primary bank to receive funds: "All our customers need to know is the e-mail address or mobile number of a friend or family member, and we will take care of the rest utilising clearXchange."
The founding banks will own the venture, but plan to expand it to other financial institutions in the near future. Bank of America's John Feldman has been appointed to act as clearXchange general manager.
The move comes as Google prepares to unveil its own NFC-based service for users to spend money and redeem coupons and loyalty points at retailer check-outs. The search engine giant is planning to preview the technology at an event in New York, Thursday. With trials slated for New York and San Francisco, Google is rumoured to have signed up big name retailers such as Macy's, American Eagle Outfitters and the Subway fast-food chain, as participants.