The growth of person-to-person (P2P) transactions continues to be brisk with leading providers Zelle and Venmo. It may be surprising to some that Zelle’s growth comes from only 51 financial institutions. The 51 integrated FIs include the largest U.S. banks, but that leaves 10,000 + other potential providers either waiting their turn to be integrated or waiting it out, preferring to see how the whole P2P phenomena transpires. An article in PaymentsSource provides background on the long road to ubiquity for Zelle:
Early Warning, the bank-led Scottsdale-based company that operates Zelle, said 51 banks are live on its network, with more than 200 under contract for integration in the coming months.
“We’re accelerating the rollout through resellers, but it’s a process that will take some time,” said Lou Anne Alexander, group president of payment solutions at Early Warning, in an interview.
The consumer use case for P2P took years to materialize, but as momentum builds now from several directions, many small banks and credit unions are overcoming their initial skepticism. And as they wait to add Zelle, their anxiety grows.
The roll of resellers such as Fiserv, ACI, Jack Henry and FIS will be critical to reaching the remaining FIs. Although the use of a third party streamlines the integration, it’s not a simple as flipping a switch and magically, overnight being able to offer Zelle. :
Zelle is working with resellers of bank-platform services like Jack Henry to speed up the integration process by onboarding many banks and credit unions at once, versus the more time-consuming individual integrations, but it’s not clear exactly when mass-onboarding will become routine.
“A lot of banks are wondering if Zelle is really coming, and how long it will be until we can onboard hundreds of banks at one clip,” said Lee Wetherington, Jack Henry’s director of strategic insight. “Banks are wondering if they’ll make their 2019 timelines for rolling Zelle out, and what Plan B is, in case Zelle doesn’t become the ubiquitous solution we hope.”
It’s interesting to note, and possibly a relief to some, that the pre-Zelle P2P solutions like Fiserv’s Popmoney will continue to be available. Matt Wilcox, Fiserv’s senior vice president of strategy and innovation commented in the article:
Popmoney may be just fine for some financial institutions, but there may not be that many who stay with it,” Wilcox said, adding: “It’s true that for several years everyone was saying this would be the year for P2P, and it was never that moment, but I think we’ve finally landed on that year.”