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Fiserv Demos ZashPay, iPad Banking

Rich-media interfaces and P2P payments promise to transform online and mobile banking.

At the Finovate conference in San Francisco Tuesday, technology provider Fiserv demonstrated a prototype of its online banking and payment application for the Apple iPad, including a preview of ZashPay, a person-to-person (P2P) payments service launching early this summer.

"We demonstrated a full online banking and payment application, all in a downloaded iPad app," said Erich Litch, SVP & GM, consumer services, Fiserv, in a phone interview. "It's a rich online banking experience with personal financial management tools, budgeting, goals, online payments, messages, managing personal payments, transfers and self-service."

Instead of the multi-layered approach of a Web site containing perhaps 100 different hierarchically organized pages, the iPad app compresses the entire online banking experience to a single, easy-to-navigate layer. "You can swipe, from component to component, things like alerts, pending payments, account balances, goals and payments," said Litch.

As an alliance partner of Microsoft, Fiserv is also developing rich-media Microsoft Silverlight applications for web and mobile deployment, according to Litch.

With its iPad demo, Fiserv also previewed ZashPay, which will enable consumers to send money to anyone using only an e-mail address or mobile phone number. "ZashPay will be accessible through the online banking sites of participating banks and credit unions and will use consumers' existing financial accounts rather than require them to sign up for and fund a third party account," stated Litch in a statement.

Senders will be able to transfer funds in as little as one business day to recipients having an account at a participating financial institution. From the outset, ZashPay will be available to a network of more than 3,100 financial institutions and 16 million consumers that already use Fiserv's CheckFree RXP online bill payment service. Other recipients will be able to claim their money at the ZashPay site. Confirmation of payment will be made to the sender via e-mail or text message.

Although the company would not disclose what it charges participating banks for the service, Fiserv has identified $0.50 as the optimal price for a transfer, comparable to the cost of a postage stamp. Participating financial institutions will be able to set their own fee structures based on market demand, customer segmentation or other factors.

Transactions will be processed through the Fiserv payment network, which in 2009 processed 1.35 billion online bill payments with over $600 billion in transaction value. By comparison, PayPal processed $71 billion in transactions in 2009.

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