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2017 was an impressive year for mobile P-to-P activities, with the long-awaited launch of Zelle in June. Aiming to be the Venmo for grown-ups, Zelle has gained momentum in terms of usage and awareness, although supporting banks have been reluctant to call out Zelle by name in their own marketing campaigns and are instead focusing on their own brands.

Alongside Zelle are third-party mobile P-to-P solutions including Circle, Square and PayPal (the owner of Venmo), all of which are fighting for market share. Further, social messaging and email platforms such as Facebook Messenger, Snapchat and Gmail are taking a leaf out of the playbook of Southeast Asian platforms such as WeChat and Alipay by embedding the ability to perform P-to-P (and increasingly bill-pay transactions) directly in the message.

While the majority of P-to-P transactions are performed by traditional methods such as wire transfers and paper checks, the U.S. can be expected to witness a continued land grab by mobile P-to-P, nearly doubling from 2017 levels to reach 13% of all P-to-P transactions in 2018 and reaching nearly half of all P-to-P volume within three years.