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PNC, First Hawaiian banks launch person-to-person mobile payments

December 23, 2009

PNC Bank is betting that P2P mobile payments will be a hit

PNC Bank is betting that P2P mobile payments will be a hit

PNC Financial Services and First Hawaiian Bank have rolled out person-to-person mobile payments commercially.

The two banks tapped CashEdge Inc. to integrate its POPmoney platform, a new white-labeled email and mobile person-to-person payments service. Five additional financial institutions have signed on to launch the service in early 2010, which CashEdge claims demonstrates strong momentum for mobile person-to-person payments.

“POPmoney is a service that CashEdge offers to banks and other financial institutions,” said Neil Platt, senior vice president and general manager of U.S. banking at CashEdge, New York. “We move money for banks, and most of the large banks in the country use our services, including Bank of America, Citibank and Wells Fargo.

“POPmoney is a service that allows consumers to pay other people just by having their email address or mobile phone number—they don’t need any bank account information,” he said. “If the recipient’s bank also offers POPmoney, it flows directly from one account to another, or you can go online to enroll and then deposit that amount in your account.”

PNC Financial Services Group is a Pittsburgh-based financial services corporation with a regional banking franchise operating in eight states and the District of Columbia, specialized financial businesses serving companies and government entities, and asset management and processing businesses.

PNC is America’s fifth-largest bank by deposits and is the third-largest off-premise ATM provider in the country.

First Hawaiian Bank is a regional commercial bank headquartered in Honolulu, HI, with 57 branches in Hawaii, three in Guam and two in Saipan. It is a subsidiary of BancWest Corp., which itself is a subsidiary of the French banking company BNP Paribas.

CashEdge provides payment services—including mobile person-to-person payments—to financial institutions for their retail and small-business banking customers.

POPmoney P2P payments
POPmoney is an email and mobile person-to-person payments service for financial institutions that lets bank customers send an electronic payment directly from their online or mobile banking service by using the recipient’s email address, mobile phone number or bank account information.

Likewise, the recipient of the payment can receive the funds directly into his or her account at any bank through online banking if the bank offers POPmoney, or at

POPmoney includes support for text messaging, mobile Web/WAP and downloadable mobile applications, enabling financial institutions to extend their person-to-person payments functionality to mobile phones.

Consumers can visit to view the current list of participating banks.

Customers of participating banks can access POPmoney through their bank’s online banking portal or at

For current CashEdge clients, POPmoney is an upgrade of their existing TransferNow service.

In addition to an SMS-based service, CashEdge is launching applications for Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s BlackBerry.

Some banks are charging fees for mobile person-to-person payments, while some are not.

These first launches only enable PNC and First Hawaiian customers to send payments from a Web browser to someone’s email address or phone number.

The product also has the capability to originate payments from a mobile device, mobile Web site or application.

None of the banks have enabled the send-from-mobile functionality yet, but PNC and First Hawaiian will be rolling that out in March.

“We surveyed 1,000 online banking customers, and more than 80 percent said they would be interested in this service if it were offered by their bank,” Mr. Platt said. “Banks get the ability to provide an innovative new service and publicize their brand to customers and customers’ contacts.

“We think the core demographic will be college-age consumers and older, especially mid-thirties to mid-forties, but it’s still too early to tell,” he said. “Things like mobile transactions will skew a little bit younger, but the truth is we don’t know for sure yet because the service just launched.”

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Dan Butcher is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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