IBM, Zelle partner to bolster P-to-P processing

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Any bank using IBM for managing transactions and funneling payment processing onto a single platform will now have access and support for the Zelle person-to-person payment service.

Through a collaboration of IBM and Zelle, the IBM Financial Transaction Manager will support P-to-P payments from the back office of the financial institution to the mobile devices used to initiate the transactions.

The Zelle Network, built through clearXchange and Early Warning, is operating at more than 20 banks and credit unions nationwide and says it will reach an estimated 85 million U.S. customers this year. Zelle officially launched its service in June.

"The integration of FTM with Zelle not only accelerates and simplifies payments through real-time processing between banks and consumers, it enables same-day deposits and bill pay, removes fees, and offers seamless cash flow, all while remaining compliant with regulatory requirements," Alistair Rennie, general manager of Watson financial services products at IBM, said in an Oct. 23 blog post.

Watson operates as the artificial intelligence engine at IBM and is included in the company's IBM Pay product.

"Together, IBM and banks now have the ability to offer their customers real-time, P-to-P payments without heavy IT spend or disruption to their legacy systems," Rennie said.

For banks, it means an increased customer experience, which leads to better engagement and loyalty overall, Rennie added. "For customers, this means being able to securely send and receive money in minutes, rather than waiting one to two days to 'cash out,' which is standard among other providers," he said.

At the same time, digital banking platform provider D3 Banking Technology says it also has partnered with Zelle to secure the P-to-P services for its bank customers.

“The current P-to-P landscape is fraught with silos and divisions, often causing a subpar experience for the end user,” Ian Macallister, vice president of market strategy at Early Warning, said in an Oct. 23 press release. "Zelle eliminates this fragmentation with the ability to reach tens of millions of consumers through partnerships with companies like D3 and Zelle Network participants."

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P-to-P payments IBM