The Many Delicious Flavors of P2P
We’re now very much into the height of summer (real feel today outside my door is 98 degrees, not to be confused with that amazing band from the 90s). And following the recent Zelle launch, we’re also very much into the height of P2P hype. As Mark and I are wont to do, we’re mixing up food and payments (a delicious combo)! And in this case, we’re talking about one of our favorite summer (or year-round) treats, ice cream. We’ve waxed poetic about ice cream in prior blogs (i.e., shops at the Cape and in Newport that still abide by old-school cash-only policies, etc.). Specific to this post, if you think about it, the roster of P2P options continues to increase, like the number of amazing flavors that Ben & Jerry’s offers these days. And with spoons in our mouths and napkins in our hands, it’s time to rant!
So Mark, with Zelle, the number of P2P options is now more than the number of fingers on my 2 hands. Let’s talk a little about the current P2P players, equating them to some relevant ice cream flavors (disclaimer: these are completely subjective).
So if P2P is to Ice Cream, Check is to: rum raison
An old-school favorite that most generations don’t understand anymore. I mean it’s rum and raisons, which sound good, add cream and it’s like huh? It has its devout followers, many of whom are part of an older demographic. And for them, rum and raisons in ice cream makes perfect sense, similar to checks in the P2P world.
Do you see rum raison being replaced on the figurative list of 31 flavors?
I do eventually. Some aspects of it make it, but it comes down to the fact that no one wants raisons anymore (in ice cream). Raison demand in ice cream is like check demand among consumers—it’s getting lower and lower and lower.
It’s impossible to take this off the menu—it’s a fan favorite across every generation. And much like cash, there will always be a consumer craving and as noted in prior posts, it’s sometimes the only (and best) option. Do you want to talk about the speedo and soggy Jackson problems again?
Let’s skip that one for now.
Vanilla is that sneaky flavor that has many more consumers than you might imagine (disclosure: it’s Dan’s favorite). Like vanilla, Zelle is simple—no nuts, no chips, no sprinkles—nothing, but yet I have a suspicion that it is going to be the king of the P2P hill in terms of volume and usage. At the end of the day, it comes down to the fact that simplicity sells, much like vanilla, and I believe Zelle will be very similar…and who knows, as we get going with Zelle, we may see some Vanilla Bean or French Vanilla pop up in there… it’s still vanilla, but man something in there keeps you coming back….
Venmo: cookie dough
Cookie dough is one of those flavors that is absolutely huge among the younger/youngest generation, although it has its fans across the Gen X spectrum (like Dan). Cookie dough is not defined by age, unlike cotton candy, which is just a young generation’s phenomenon that quickly fades as age marches on. Venmo/cookie dough has to do with consumers wanting something more in their ice cream, a la the social media aspects of Venmo. It’s those little nuggets along with simplicity that makes it work and keeps that group engaged.
Square Cash: mocha chip
There is a segment of the population that craves mocha and coffee, and although we’re not talking about chocolate or vanilla numbers, this segment is still large enough to merit this flavor…this P2P option follows the similar devotees, but at the moment it hasn’t found that breakout that cookie dough has. Though, it does still get consumed and mass produced. It has potential to make a breakout and get into the cookie dough category very soon, especially if it cracks the mCommerce and in-person commerce crossover en masse first. Then we may be looking at the next Chocolate/Vanilla swirl.
Now that is intriguingly delicious!
Transferwise: sticky toffee
I’ve never tasted sticky toffee ice cream, but it sounds deliciously British. Sticky toffee is a flavor that has yet to really draw fandom across the pond. However, sticky toffee resonates well with others across borders, which has been key to its popularity in other countries/regions. Cross border tends to be a bit outside of view for many of the American consumers that we talk about, those who drive US-based operations, but who knows, maybe sticky toffee makes that British invasion crossover and becomes all the rage next summer at the beach-side ice cream stands.
Bitcoin: raw egg cake batter
Could be good, could taste great, but you’ll potentially get salmonella. Many people are willing to take the leap of faith because, well, its cake batter and there literally is not a better flavor in the world. BUT there is that chance and you know it once you go for that first spoonful…
I wonder which of these would make for the best milk shake, or as we say in Greater Boston, frappe?
Related blog posts
The Bank of the Future: 2040 and the Reality of AR and VR
Mark, when I envision the bank of the future, I imagine Twiki and Buck Rogers at a casino. Or maybe I once dreamed that—I’m old and my mind is going. So what are we talking about and what can we envision when it comes to the bank of the future? And by future, I’m talking about 2040, before certain cities might be flooded (by water). But I digress, as this isn’t a post about climate change.
How 'Mega Trends' Are Shaping Payments in India
In a previous blog post, I wrote about the impact of demonetization in India and the staggering growth of new digital payment types. Building further on this, I want explore some of the “mega trends” in payments, and how India is embracing the opportunities presented by these trends.
One Year Later: How Demonetization Has Impacted India
This month marks the first anniversary of demonetization in India, and it has undoubtedly changed the country forever. When I visit India, I increasingly see micro-transactions conducted via mobile phones. Cash is still used, but I see less and less of it with each visit. We are in the middle of a true paradigm shift – and India is poised to become a global leader in new types of payment acceptance.
Security, the New Payments Ecosystem and the Need to Educate the Consumer (Or Ask Them to Unclog Your Sewer!)
When it comes to any payments ecosystem, you must remember that we are talking about MONEY. More importantly, people’s money (like yours and mine). In any conversation in this space, secure is something that is assumed. A consumer simply won’t use a new system if they don’t believe it is secure. Unless of course it’s free Wi-Fi. As we have seen, folks are willing to do almost anything to get free access on their devices, even agreeing to clean toilets! (This was a real thing… one hotspot operator added it to their Terms of Service fine print). When we talk secure, it’s important that we keep this in mind: secure is not just a piece of the Hierarchy of Payment Needs, it’s an integral part of it, which is why it sits directly on top of the foundations. Without this layer, the whole ecosystem collapses.
How to Deliver on Customer Experience
Don’t Break the Bank – Building for the New Payments Ecosystem.
How to Protect the Foundations of Transaction Banking
Scalable, Available, Reliable – #SleepAtNightability for Corporate Banking
Pairing Payments Innovation with Security Needs in Southeast Asia
Many Asian governments – most notably those of Singapore and Hong Kong – have launched well-received initiatives to encourage collaboration rather than competition between the fintech start-up world and banks. This has enabled traditional banks to tap into the innovative solutions that fintechs offer, while the banks themselves bring to the table considerable experience with data, resilience, reliability and customer protection.
What’s Your Small Business Banking Bacon?
Every hip recipe has bacon in it these days. So why shouldn’t your digital banking experience be the same? After all, it’s a yummy addition that gives a standard dish that extra flair.
Small business banking has been a prodigious untapped market for over a decade. Banks desperately strive to make revenue from this market, but in most cases, they have struggled to do so.
The Constant of Change and the Future of Commercial Banking
Let’s clarify this before I lose anyone; the self-proclaimed “pioneer of wisdom,” noted Greek philosopher Heraclitus, is credited with the saying Panta rhei, "everything flows." More commonly, you have probably heard this as “the only constant is change,” but either way, this teaching has withstood the test of time, as it is not only applicable, but feels like a worldly truth when I find myself talking about today’s transaction banking landscape. A robust time of change is upon us; one that has brought us to the precipice of a new era in banking. Understanding the driving forces behind this change as well as embracing new business models will be a key to success, or even to survival.
The Hidden Risk of Complacency
Available in Spanish and English
As a professional in Latin American electronic payments, I often forget how it is to live not knowing what’s going on backstage every time I use my cards. My specialization makes me aware of trends worldwide, so while traveling, I’m able to analyze different technologies in action. My consumer side, also known as my ‘shopaholic’ side, exposes me to multiple situations, since any trip—be it business or leisure—always provides a good opportunity to shop. On a recent trip, I had the chance to experiment with my Argentinian cards during a semi-long-term stay. While out of country for 40 days, I experienced first-hand the challenges that consumers encounter with the EMV payments barrier.