October 2015: P2P Payments

For this report, we reviewed the desktop P2P platforms offered by Bank Monitor firms alongside non-bank digital wallets that allow P2P payments. Our rankings were based on a number of factors, including the ability to send and request money, payment customization options and fees. Our grades are weighted toward fast delivery, ease of use and low fees. We reviewed features like:

  • Delivery speed
  • Transfer limits
  • Help resources
  • Payment scheduling

Twelve banks (67% of our coverage group) offer desktop P2P platforms. Eight of these offer P2P payments through Popmoney. The service is comparable across these eight banks, though banks have leeway in setting payment minimums, limits and fees as well as some auxiliary features like requesting money and customizing delivery. These eight banks are joined by proprietary platforms from four other banks.

The primary advantage that non-bank P2P services have over traditional bank options is delivery speed. Non-bank digital wallets generally deliver money instantly while banks require at least one business day in most cases. Additionally, the three non-bank services charge no fees. By comparison, five of the 10 banks that offer next-day delivery charge a fee for that capability. Another three banks only deliver next-day payments to same-bank recipients, leaving only two banks that offer fee-free next-day delivery outside of the bank. Both banks tack a requirement on to these transfers, however.

A key driver in our rankings was the ability to send and request money. The ability to request money is not offered by seven of the banks, leaving five banks that allow users to do so. This is a key feature in P2P payments that all banks should provide.