Apple may have beaten them to the punch by a few days, but the largest U.S. banks—and many smaller ones—are rolling out their own P2P mobile payment service to compete with PayPal’s Venmo, Square’s Square Cash and other fintech companies that are popularizing P2P payments. Financial institutions hope that the network, which will include more than 30 national, regional and local banks through various partnerships, will provide enough consumers with a standard way to make person-to-person payments through their familiar mobile banking site to generate adoption. The banks also are touting the idea that consumers will perceive that a bank-owned and developed P2P solution is more secure.
Zelle, a mobile payments network operated by Early Warning Services (itself a joint venture between Bank of America, BB&T, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo), will enable P2P payments for 86 million customers of these and other banks.
“Fragmentation has been frustrating for consumers. Inconsistent experiences have made it difficult to send and receive money between banks,” said Paul Finch, CEO of Early Warning Services. “Zelle unites the financial community behind a single, real-time P2P payments experience for millions of consumers. Together, we are removing friction from finance, allowing money to move seamlessly between accounts in minutes. This revolution in money movement will create for consumers a viable alternative to checks and cash.”