12 May 2010
(Update) I love a good laugh.. so be assured that you will have new insight into the importance of product marketing and product naming after you google “zash urban dictionary” to discover how Zash will resonate with urban consumers. Lesson learned: just because the URL is available.. doesn’t mean you should use it. Also interesting to note that they “new” definition of “moving quickly online” was placed in Urban Dictionary in April.. probably FISERV’s addition?
Skipping the humor, Checkfree is extending its existing “merchant integration” process to consumers. Creating a directory of e-mail/mobile/ACH accounts, and adding a “consumer registration” process where you receive a notice that someone has sent you money.. adding a mobile interface. Unfortunate that FISV/Checkfree will be loosing Bank of America as a bill pay customer, having 10% of deposit accounts in a directory would have been fantastic.
As a user you should be able to send someone cash via bill pay (or mobile) based upon an e-mail or mobile number. Checkfree has all of these pieces to make this work, and rock solid fraud and operational controls from their merchant integration activities. This product makes sense for ad-hoc P2P payments to an e-mail address or mobile, particularly for mid to small banks that are currently clients of Checkfree.. allowing them to send money to anyone with an e-mail address.
From a competitive perspective, Metavante/FIS has integration with Paypal which will accomplish most of this as well (from bill pay interface). What is lacking is a mobile client.. but not for long as FIS just hired Bank of America’s mobile guru Doug Brown as head of mobile product and strategy.
Cashedge’s Popmoney also competes here. The “transfer” paradigm seems to make more sense than a “bill pay” so I will give CashEdge a big edge in usability and in fraud controls as it has 6+ years experience (and data) managing individual account to account transfers.
As a banker, I much prefer the FIS/Metavante model, as PayPal shares merchant interchange. As a consumer I also prefer the FIS model for eCommerce goods purchase as it is quite important to establish “network rules” between buyer and seller and integrate the payment process with the marketplace. There would seem to be a solid revenue business case for FIS, while the ZashPay seems to be a bill pay extension to address an uncertain P2P need.
Both FIS and Fiserv may be getting into some interesting patent territory with other established players. For example, if either are using good funds they are probably stepping on this patent below..