Forty-eight percent of U.S. online banking consumers are interested in using P2P payments as part of their banking service, according to research by NACHA-The Electronic Payments Association and eCom Advisors in partnership with F

IS and PayPal.

Given who’s publishing the research, the results probably trend a little more  positive than reality, but they’re still worth looking at. A segment of consumers has been comfortable with PayPal for years, but in the next year or two, especially with the new payment models emerging in the mobile market, expect P2P payments to blossom.

While people are increasingly interested in using P2P, the majority of those who are would be willing to do so only within in their most immediate networks. Thirty-three percent of consumers would be willing to use P2P to send money to a child at college; 31 percent to a family member, friend, or associate overseas; and 25 percent would be willing to use P2P to split the cost of a gift with co-workers, friends or family members.

Not surprisingly, it’s those already using mobile banking who would be most interested in P2P payments. Consumers who have used a mobile phone to pay a bill or view their bank information in the last 30 days were most likely to want to adopt P2P. Of the total market with internet-enabled phones, this is between 20 percent (those who have paid their bills via mobile in the last 30 days) and 27 percent (those who have checked their bank account in that period).

Sixty-two percent of those who paid bills online went directly through the retailer's site, not that of their financial institution.

“Today’s active mobile banking consumes are clearly attracted to the notion of replacing cash and check transactions with P2P payments via their mobile devices,” said Paul McAdam, a Partner at eCom Advisors. “In addition to targeting marketing communications to encourage this segment to adopt P2P, financial institutions should also integrate P2P payments with their mobile banking services.”

By Mark Alvarez