NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Three major banks revealed their plan to launch a peer-to-peer payment platform for their customers that will rival PayPal.
Later this year, Bank of America (Stock Quote: BAC), Wells Fargo (Stock Quote: WFC) and JPMorgan Chase (Stock Quote: JPM) will debut clearXchange, a system that enables customers to use their checking account to transfer money electronically using their cell phone or email.
The three banks have been developing clearXchange for a year and a half, Mike Kennedy, executive vice president and head of Payments Strategy at Wells Fargo told TheStreet. Wells Fargo and Bank of America have been trialing the system in Arizona and hope to finish rolling out the product nationally by this time next year. Right now none of the banks are charging fees to customers to use clearXchange, although the banks pay an undisclosed fee to use the system.
“We are really focused on making this a service to improve the customer experience. We have also determined that there may be some cost saving from this since everything will be done electronically,” said Kennedy.
Whether the banks decide to charge customers for clearXchange could determine whether the person-to-person service can compete with rival PayPal, which currently charges users a fee of 2.9% of the transaction amount, plus 30 cents for sending or receiving payments.
Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase are certainly the first banks to get into the person-to-person payment game, but credit card issuers like Visa (Stock Quote: V) and American Express (Stock Quote: AXP) debuted their own services earlier this year.
Amex, whose Serve is already up and running, plans on waiving its fees through August, the issuer told MainStreet. Afterwards, person-to-person payments between users will remain free, but businesses will be charged a fee of 2.9% of the transaction amount, plus 30 cents for P2P payments made for goods and services. Amex will also charge a fee of 2.9% of the transaction amount, plus an additional 30 cents for transfering funds from a credit card.
Visa, whose Personal Payments program is set to launch later this year, has not disclosed any information about the fees it plans to charge for it.
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