P2P payments join debit cards as a mainstream product

How financial institutions are responding to the rise of P2P payments.

When Zelle® announced they had processed over $75 billion in person-to-person (P2P) transactions in 2017, many were caught by surprise that banks were doing that much volume in P2P transactions. And with Zelle still in its the early stages of adoption, the full amount that financial institutions process in P2P transactions will be much higher than that. The industry is realizing that P2P isn’t just a product just for twenty-somethings to use to split the cost of rent and last night’s pizza.

P2P payments is a topic I discuss nearly every day with financial institutions as they determine how to align their P2P strategy. The financial institutions I’m talking to about P2P are typically the ones that aren’t sure when or if they will join Zelle, and for some, if they will adopt a P2P solution at all.

It’s a tough business decision to make at a surface level since P2P costs money to run and the prevailing market fee for P2P services is zero. P2P needs to be justified on the basis of client and account retention – the cost of doing business.


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