Soon it may be much easier for you to send money to friends via mobile or email. The four largest banks in the nation are pushing to link the two leading systems to transfer money, according to Reuters.
Three of the four biggest U.S. banks — JPMorgan Chase & Co , Bank of America Corp and Wells Fargo & Co — have already agreed to operate through a system known as clearXchange, while Citigroup Inc and some 1,400 smaller banks are on a system known as Popmoney. That business is managed by Fiserv, a provider of processing services to the banking industry.
The banks hope that by connecting the two systems they will create a network with a critical mass of customers who can use the systems to pay one another without a second thought. Customers of Popmoney and clearXchange combined account for roughly half of deposits owned by individual consumers.
Connecting the two networks could happen within 18 months, according to Reuters. And at least in theory, such a linkage could drive an increase in the use of person-to-person, or P2P, payments. We’ll see. But as we’ve noted before, the biggest barrier to P2P buy-in is the difficulty in moving funds between banks. A link between clearXchange and Popmoney would do much to change that.