Early response to clearXchange, announced this week by Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, indicates vendors in the space see the the bank-owned person-to-person electronic payments network as validation of a growing market.
"It is not only an endorsement for the personal payments category as a whole, but it also validates the financial instituion-centric approach that Fiserv believes is best for these types of payments," says Tony Catalfano, division president, Electronic Payments, Fiserv.
Fiserv's ZashPay payment service is used by more than 700 financial institutions.
One aspect of clearXchange that has Neil Platt, CashEdge EVP and general manager, Banking & Payments excited is the purported interoperability the new network will have with existing solutions.
"Ultimately the vision here is that everyone should be able to receive payments and send money, request money or exchange money with anyone at any other bank without having to sign up for a separate service," he says.
CashEdge has more than 200 bank clients, including New York-based Citibank. Platt says representatives of clearXchange have already been in touch with CashEdge regarding integration with its Popmoney P2P payments product.
Platt says that, with the cashXchange announcement, the industry is indicating it's fully supportive of the electronic P2P payments space, and that the new scalability that could come with integrated networks could help bring the critical mass in adoption the market has been waiting for.
"The biggest problem that I see for P2P payments in general is that consumers don’t know about them," Platt adds. "I spend all my life thinking about technology and payments. But I think most people don’t realize that people can pay and get payed electronically."
Fiserv's Catalfano agrees interoperability is key.
"We envision that over time several networks will emerge as providers for personal payments, and that interoperability will become increasingly important, similar to the way debit networks work today," he says. "ZashPay is one of the clear leaders within the emerging personal payment networks, and you can expect to see Fiserv expand upon this leadership by pursuing strategic partnerships with other networks, such as our recent partnership with Visa."
Though clearXchange already has a potentially massive built-in userbase, Platt doesn't see the network as trying to compete with the already existing electronic P2P solutions, but rather as a product that will ultimately grow adoption.
"We’re very excited about clearXchange," he adds. "We think this is a huge boon to the industry."