Jetco Readies Peer-to-Peer Mobile Payments Service

January 26, 2016         By: Steven Anderson

Peer-to-peer mobile payments—where one user can route payment to another user directly—have been a hot topic in mobile payments lately, as even Apple Pay has been seen moving in that direction.

Jetco, a Hong Kong-based network of automated teller machines (ATMs) has joined up with 12 separate Hong Kong banks to bring out Jetco Pay P2P, a service that offers the direct payments users want.

Jetco notes that the the service is linked directly to the user’s bank account, which means there’s no need for a top-up operation later. Funds are transferred directly from one user to another with mobile numbers, and the service is expected to start up sometime in 2016’s second quarter.

Jetco was previously spotted offering a payment service for member banks that focused on near-field communications (NFC) instead, showing that Jetco’s development is fairly substantial in the field.

Peer-to-peer payments systems are easily ignored; most people’s transactions go from consumer to business, so the idea that a mobile payment user might be interested in sending money from himself or herself to another individual just doesn’t often come up.

It should, however; after all, how many times do we loan a good friend a small sum for a vending machine hit, or cover someone’s share of lunch and need to be repaid later? This kind of transaction is seldom big, but it comes up every so often.

Thus, most mobile payments systems seem to disregard this kind of traffic, when it really poses an opportunity to meet a need otherwise going unmet. That’s a sign to step in, and a sign that Jetco isn’t passing up.

We’re likely to see more peer-to-peer development going on in mobile payments, particularly as the systems in question spread out and reach more viewers.

We’re always going to need the ability to funnel small amounts of cash from one user to another—whether for business or charitable reasons—and mobile payments systems can get in on that. The exact form such measures will take isn’t clear, but the systems that can bring it to users first will likely reap significant benefit.

Users likely won’t switch from a familiar tool without a substantial reason to switch.