The Point

To Grow Person-to-Person Payments, Offer P2P at the Point of Need

Apr  22 
Justin Jackson  Vice President, Integrated Payment Solution and Bill Payment, Digital Banking Group, Fiserv 

No matter how consumers choose to pay, they want the experience to be fast, convenient, consistent – and profoundly simple. People know who, how much and at what speed they want their money to move – and the payment systems they use shouldn't require anything else.

And yet, this isn't the digital payment experience consumers have today. Consumers may use multiple niche providers to make different types of payments via websites or apps. Even financial institutions, which offer multiple payment options, require users to access different payment functions separately, paying a bill from one spot, a person from another and making a transfer from yet another.

The integration of person-to-person payments with online bill pay is a milestone on the road to delivering a profoundly simple payments experience.

This fragmentation breeds confusion and dissatisfaction with consumers, who often can't find the payments tools they need. Integrating multiple money movement options can boost customer satisfaction and position financial institutions to compete with nontraditional financial providers, while increasing digital engagement through increased transactions and higher usage.

As part of a strategy to deliver an integrated payment experience, Fiserv recently added person-to-person payment capabilities to online bill pay, allowing people to use Popmoney® from Fiserv to pay a person electronically right from the same place they typically pay their bills. The results were immediate and significant. Within six months of the integration, Popmoney transactions increased 38 percent and the number of users jumped 41 percent at adopting institutions.

Why did these financial institutions see such meaningful increases in Popmoney adoption and usage?

The new integrated design makes person-to-person payments more intuitive and accessible, simplifying consumers' money movement experience with easy, at-your-fingertips options to send money or split an expense. Now, person-to-person payments are not seen as a separate experience, but simply another way to pay.

The integration also increases awareness of person-to-person payments. That's important, because while consumers repeatedly express interest in paying other people electronically, only 28 percent of U.S. online consumers are aware their financial institution offers person-to-person payments, according to Expectations & Experiences, a quarterly consumer trends survey sponsorted by Fiserv. What that tells us is that any lack of usage is not because of the value proposition – consumers likely see how person-to-person payments would make their lives easier – but is instead due to a lack of awareness of the payment option.

Following the integration of person-to-person payments into bill pay, consumers logging into online bill pay were greeted with new interstitials and banners promoting Popmoney activation for unregistered users and encouraging usage for current users. Several ways to use person-to-person payments are highlighted, bringing the payment option front and center as people are paying who they owe. Consumers aren't expected to know what payment technology they want to use or where to find it, which is especially important for users who don't have a clear understanding of what person-to-person payments are; instead, they see clear, relatable examples of how Popmoney can provide a simpler payment experience in their lives.

The combination of digital payment options into a single experience – the Fiserv integrated payments strategy – makes it easier for financial institutions and billing organizations to respond to consumer preferences and expectations, and most importantly, makes it easier for people to pay who they want at the speed they choose. This integration of person-to-person payments with online bill pay is a milestone on the road to delivering a profoundly simple payments experience.

What's Next for Integrated Payments

Upcoming enhancements will focus on periodic obligations – automatic and recurring payments, such as paying the babysitter every week or the rent once a month. Since 31 percent of all Popmoney transactions are recurring, this is a key need. Starting with this spring's release, consumers will be able to set up a dozen different payment frequencies, as well as manage their Popmoney profile from the bill pay platform. In the coming year, debit-card processed instant transactions will be part of an integrated payments experience. These funds will work like cash, arriving instantly to be instantly spendable.