Big Tech Shakes Up the U.S. P2P Market


Navigator Edition: June 2017
By: Jeff Crawford and Chris Razzano

Competition in the P2P market continues to heat up as Square and Apple join PayPal, Venmo, Google, and Zelle in offering P2P services (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Sampling of U.S. P2P Solutions
*Expected features at launch. **Visa Direct and Mastercard Send-powered P2P service. ***In beta for select users. †PayPal owns Venmo and operates it as a standalone service.
Source: Accenture primary research.

New Entrants

Both Square and Apple announced new P2P offerings in recent weeks. Apple’s service, announced at the June WWDC, will incorporate Apple Pay into its iMessage application, making it readily available to the majority of Apple users.  Square’s product expands Square Cash to enable personal as well as business payments.

Both services will use stored value accounts to load and receive funds. Square Cash customers will have the option to transfer funds from their Square Cash account to their bank account, or they can apply for a Square Cash prepaid debit card to make purchases. Apple users will have their funds stored in a virtual Apple Pay account; these funds can be transferred to their bank account or used to make purchases through Apple Pay.

Details are still emerging about these new offerings, but the extension of third party P2P services to in-store and remote purchases poses a threat to existing service providers.  These new features also make it easier for consumers to leave funds with their P2P provider rather than transferring to a traditional account.  This level of competition will necessitate a robust product development roadmap for all providers, especially new entrants such as Zelle, to ensure services meet changing consumer and market demand.

For more information, please contact Jeff Crawford, Senior Manager, jeff.crawford@accenture.com; or Chris Razzano, Senior Analyst, chris.razzano@accenture.com. Both specialize in Payments Strategy & Innovation.

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