Wells Fargo executive Michael Kennedy has been named the new CEO of clearXchange person-to-person payments network jointly operated by Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.
Kennedy co-founded and previously served as chairman of clearXchange, which launched in 2011, while working as executive vice president and head of Innovation and Payments Strategy for Wells Fargo. He will now devote 100 percent of his time to the payments venture.
[To learn more about new opportunities in mobility in financial services, check out the agenda for the New Opportunities for Mobility: A Financial CIO/CTO Roundtablesession at the upcoming Interop event in NYC.]
According to Kennedy, the vast majority of person-to-person payments in the U.S. -- estimated at around $900 billion -- are conducted via cash or check, making this a ripe market for digital penetration. "We believe we can move a large amount of that to these more convenient electronic methods," he said.
Currently, around 50 percent of customers at the three banks that constitute clearXchange use the service, and Kennedy believes that number can grow even more.
"We understand that some people prefer to continue to use cash, but more and more people are comfortable using their mobile phone," he said. "It's not just about mobile financial services; people are using their mobile device for commerce more than ever before."
Kennedy also said clearXchange is actively seeking further banks to partner with.
Before joining Wells Fargo, Kennedy worked at McKinsey & Company consulting to financial services institutions, was the head of Strategy and Business Development at Vail Associates, and was an associate at a venture capital firm.