First Data Launches Person-to-Person Payment Service

Electronic commerce payment services company First Data Corp. said it plans to
launch an Internet person-to-person (P2P) payment service, Western Union
MoneyZap,
in July.


The service would leverage the P2P payment brand of First Data ‘s electronic
money transfer subsidiary Western Union and will enable
consumers to select how, when and where to securely and easily send, receive
and request payments from other consumers over the Internet and ultimately
through wireless devices.


Several other companies already have launched into this P2P space, which is
becoming increasingly crowded. eCommony Inc., for instance, has launched its
patent-pending PayToCard Network.


The Western Union MoneyZap product will enable consumers to send money or
request money from anyone with an email address. Via encrypted transactions,
funds will be verified by Western Union and transferred electronically to
the payment vehicle of choice, as dictated by the sender.


MoneyZap initially will be targeted at Internet-savvy consumers and will
serve to help broaden the Western Union franchise. Moreover, this product
will complement existing Western Union money transfer products and core
competencies and will form the basis of Western Union’s clicks-and-mortar
strategy.


“Western Union has been moving money electronically for more than 125 years
and has the established world-class infrastructure, reliability, trust and
proven track record required to move money in the online world,” said Ric
Duques, chairman and chief executive officer of First Data.


First Data has moved into the business-to-consumer space over the last two
years and offers a suite of e-commerce tools to help merchants move their
businesses to the Web.


In the B2B arena, First Data last week announced a joint venture with Entrust
Technologies, called PaymentWave, to focus on delivering a payment platform
and related products for B2B exchanges to facilitate safe, secure,
authenticated payments for businesses buying and selling through e-markets.


Meanwhile, First Data signed a deal with [email protected] making First Data the
preferred provider of Internet payment solutions for several of [email protected]’s
consumer services.


[email protected] will promote First Data’s person-to-person (P2P) Internet payment
service to consumers and will leverage First Data’s expertise to power
transaction processing within existing and emerging [email protected] consumer
services. Financial arrangements were not disclosed.

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