PayPal still rules the roost in person-to-person (P2P) transfers, but faces an increasingly strong field of competitors, according to Javelin Strategy & Research.
In new research released on Wednesday, Javelin reports consumers transferred more than $195 billion in 2011 using online, mobile and other electronic channels. Person-to-person payments accounted for $21.6 billion, or about 11% of the transfers, while account-to-account transfers were the bulk of the activity, Javelin said Wednesday. A third of consumers made an online P2P transfer while fewer than 10% completed a mobile transfer.
PayPal, a unit of eBay (EBAY) continued to reign as the market leader for supporting P2P transfers but others, including Fiserv's Popmoney and clearXchange, pose a threat, Javelin said. Popmoney connects 1,400 financial institutions and a potential 16% of U.S. banking customers through its existing online and mobile channels. ClearXchange, a partnership among Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC), represents about 37% of the U.S. market.
"Significant revenue opportunities are up for grabs for the P2P vendor that emerges as the leading multi-institutional transfer provider, but there is no clear indication who that vendor will be," Beth Robertson, director of payments research at Javelin, said in a news release. "In addition to PayPal, Popmoney and clearXchange, there are a number of newer P2P players, such as American Express Serve, Dwolla, Chirpify, and Square, that threaten to shake up the market with their with innovative platforms, approaches, and technologies."