As consumers become more comfortable and engaged with the concepts of mobile wallets, mobile payments and other forms of digital payments transactions, the financial technology community is taking notice. For example, more than 16 billion person-to-person payments are made each year, according to McKinsey & Company. A 2012 Forrester Research report found that 51% of tablet banking users and 46% of mobile banking users would like to make person-to-person payments via their devices. Even though there is still considerable uncertainty about how things will play out in terms of standards, revenues and regulation no one wants to be left out of the race to dominate the mobile money space.
Accordingly, this week Fiserv, Inc., announced it has integrated its Popmoney person-to-person payments (P2P) service with its Mobiliti mobile banking and payments platform. P2P payments can now be initiated directly from a user's mobile banking account. Consumers also can manage incoming payments and review their transaction histories.
As a result of the integration, Popmoney is available within the Mobiliti mobile banking user interface, making it easy for users to manage their mobile banking and payments activity from a central hub, according to Fiserv. In addition to enhancing the functionality of Mobiliti, the integration expands the reach of the Popmoney network. Mobiliti is used by more than 1,300 financial institutions, Fiserv reports --a number that is likely to grow dramatically. According to the 2012 Fiserv Consumer Trends Survey, the number of U.S. households using mobile banking increased 33% from 2011 to 2012, to almost 25 million households.
The Popmoney service also is integrated into Fiserv's CheckFree RXP electronic billing and payment solution and Corillian Online and Virtual Branch online banking solutions, and is available as a standalone service. Popmoney currently is offered at more than 1,800 participating banks and credit unions, or anyone can sign-up at Popmoney.com.
Banks have not been leading the charge on mobile payments. But, according to Rahul Gupta, group president, Digital Payment Solutions, Fiserv, it's logical for banks to pay a leading role in the P2P payments space. "For many consumers, their financial institution is the ideal hub from which to manage the many types of payments they make each month -- from paying bills to paying other people," said Gupta, in a press release. "The integration of Popmoney with Mobiliti gives financial institution customers another convenient way to access person-to-person payments, which will drive adoption and use of both services."
Fiserv customer Golden 1 Credit Union is one advocate of this trend. "As more of our members adopt and experience the benefits of mobile banking, they are ready to go beyond basic access to account information to use the service in new ways," said Donna Bland, president and CEO of Golden 1 Credit Union (Sacramento, Calif.).