Reuters has reported that the U.S. "big four" banks — Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and Citi — are looking at ways to offer consumers a method to send and receive funds via their mobile devices.

According to Reuters, an executive at Popmoney, the P2P mobile money exchange used by a number of FIs, confirmed that the big banks are discussing how to facilitate electronic transactions through consumers' mobile devices and email. Another unnamed source familiar with the discussions also confirmed that the meetings are taking place.

A single payment network used by all four major banks to handle electronic transactions linking bank accounts to proxy data such as email addresses or mobile numbers would be a boon to mobile payment. It would reach nearly 40 percent of U.S. bank accounts and offer account holders a quicker, cheaper way to send and receive funds. The FIs have all been investigating different ways to offer such a service that doesn't depend on ACH, card or ATM networks.

Last year, B of A, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase launched clearXchange, a P2P money transfer service that lets users send and receive funds between accounts held at the three banks using only an email address or mobile phone number. Citi has partnered with Fiserv to offer Fiserv's similar Popmoney product. 

Current discussions between the banks revolve around potentially linking clearXchange with Popmoney and other services to make it possible to transfer funds to and from accounts at all participating FIs using the new network, Reuters said.

For more stories like this, visit the Money Transfer/P2P research center.

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