Citi joins Early Warning as banks prepare all-out assault on digital rivals

Citi joins Early Warning as banks prepare all-out assault on digital rivals

Citi has joined Early Warning, the consortium of big US banks looking to take on the likes of Venmo in the provision of P2P mobile payments.

Run by Early Warning for its owners - Bank of America, JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, Capital One and US Bank - the clearXchange network lets users send funds directly from their bank accounts to the recipients' using only an email address or mobile phone number.

Citi has previously offered a similar service through Fiserv's Popmoney app. Fiserv announced in August that it would connect the Popmoney network of banks to clearxchange.

Citi's arrival at clearXchange clears the way for an all-out industry assault on digital rival Venmo. The service, which runs through the Nacha payment rails, has been boosted by the arrival of same-day ACH processing in the US, putting it on a more level footing against clearXchange's real-time money transmission network.

Citi is joining Early Warning as it ushers in a rebrand of clearXchange to the more consumer-friendly Zelle.

Paul Finch, chief executive officer, Early Warning, says: “The addition of Citi represents a significant milestone in Early Warning’s goal to expand the clearXchange network to include all financial institutions nationwide."

Citi says it will enable the functionality in early 2017.

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