LAS VEGAS — Is the future of person-to-person payments for financial institutions to charge users fees – or will the service produce plentiful results without any fees at all to members? Right there was a crucial difference in thinking among panelists at the BAI Payments Connect conference which opened Monday in Las Vegas.
The setting: a packed room, standing room only, for a panel titled: “Person to Person Payments: An Established Product That’s Evolving.”
On one side: Sanjeev Dheer, president of the CashEdge division at Fiserv. By his thinking, users will gladly pay for the convenience of handling small and incidental charges with easy to use online tools.
On the other side: Arkady Fridman, financial innovations business development manager at PayPal who said, firstly, financial institutions would be saving money by not having to process paper checks and, beyond that, they will benefit by gaining visibility into transactions that had been opaque because cash was exchanged.
“This is much more valuable than fee income,” said Fridman.
Note, however, PayPal wants to collect fees on consumer-to-business transactions. Where it appears to want no fees is in true person-to-person.
Who is right?
The one fact – agreed to by all panelists – is that P2P remains very early stage. And how it will shape up is way too early to call. But now the battle lines are getting drawn.