Coming to a bank near you: Person-to-Person lending

Lending money to kids away at college or family members in need just got a little easier.

Today Fiserv, a global provider of financial technology services, announced plans for a new Person-to-Person, or P2P service that will enable the quick transfer of funds between individuals.

This service will be made available to the more than 3,100 financial institutions in the Fiserv network.

According to a Fiserv survey conducted in June 2009, demand for this service is substantial. Seventy percent of the survey's respondents expressed interest in this type of service, with three out of four saying they'd prefer to have access to P2P at their own financial institutions rather an outside source such as Lending Club and 83% said it's important for money to be deposited directly into a recipient's bank account, as opposed to being funneled through a third party system.

Listening to the concerns of mainstream consumers, the service will give consumers the ability to use the personal payments service through their participating financial institution, eliminating the need to share account information with a third party and resulting in both improved security and greater convenience.

Why P2P

"P2P lending is growing in popularity and has been used to fund down payments, home repairs, textbooks and so much more," Beverly Blair Harzog, co-author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Person-to-Person Lending," told WalletPop.

And now, P2P payments can also be used similarly to move funds between accounts at different banks and to pay for informal purchases and services rendered.

"This P2P service gives consumers access to an innovative online financial management tool," Eric Litch, senior vice president and general manager, Consumer Service, Fiserv, told WalletPop in an interview.

To use the P2P service, consumers will use either their e-mail address or mobile phone number to send money to anyone. "Some examples are repaying a friend for dinner, contributing to a fundraiser, paying team dues, etc." Litch said.

Payments will be deposited directly into the recipient's account and confirmation of payment will be sent to the recipient's e-mail address or mobile number. Payments will be securely processed through Fiserv's industry leading online payment network and Litch says transactions will be quite simple.

Fiserv's new program will initially be made available to Fiserv clients using the CheckFree RXP online bill payment platform during the first half of 2010. Other financial institutions will be able to connect to the personal payments network through web services after the initial launch of the service.
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