I love Zelle! In fact, I was one of Zelle’s earliest adopters in the days when it was clearXchange. In my opinion, being able to send payments to another person from my bank account using my mobile phone is the best invention since sliced bread and online banking (which eliminated the need to ever balance a checkbook again). Every time I need to pay someone, I try to use Zelle. And I really am a brand evangelist for Zelle—not only do I spend my days researching and writing about the person-to-person payments market in general, but I also tell all my friends and family to give Zelle a try.
It’s been just a few days since I published my latest report on the digital person-to-person payments landscape in the U.S., and recent announcements in the industry have already made some of the information in the report a little …. well, passé, I guess. This signals the intense competition, continuous innovation, and perceived importance of digital P2P payments as part of the core business model for both financial institutions and alternative providers.
Here’s what’s happening:
At its Retail (R)Evolution event in April 2017, Pitney Bowes shared research revealing that 94% of global consumers made a domestic online purchase within the last year, nearly half made purchases monthly, and one-quarter made purchases weekly. Pitney Bowes also found that two-thirds of consumers have made a cross-border purchase in the last year.
People have engaged in person-to-person (P2P) payments for centuries–beginning with the barter system, through the invention of money and checks, and in the digital age, in which funds can be exchanged electronically via online and mobile applications. The size of the U.S. P2P payments market is driving intense competition between financial institutions (FIs) and alternative P2P payment services. Many FIs now offer P2P payment services as part of their overall digital banking experience in an effort to remain at the center of the consumer’s financial life.