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Venmo And Zelle’s P2P Battle Royale

The fourth quarter of 2018 was kind to Venmo and Zelle, the two big peer-to-peer (P2P) services that are battling for consumer loyalty and market supremacy — a fight that pits PayPal, the owner of Venmo, against the banks that operate Zelle. The numbers tell a story of ongoing growth and more consumer acceptance.

However, even as P2P becomes a bigger part of peoples’ daily lives, the coming year will bring the challenges of earning more revenue from those services, and persuading a broader group of consumers to use these digital payment methods. If 2018 was a year of significant growth for Venmo and Zelle, 2019 could see those P2P services become more mature and entrenched.

P2P Numbers

A look at the recent Q4 financial figures for P2P tells a mostly positive story.

Venmo posted an 80 percent spike in transaction volume, hitting $19 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to PayPal’s most recent financial earnings release. When it came to total P2P volume, including transfers sent through the core PayPal service, the Q4 volume hit $39 billion.

That last figure was ahead of Zelle’s reported payment volume of $35 billion during the fourth quarter of 2018, but there’s a hitch to that — that $39 billion was for the entire PayPal network, not just Venmo for that quarter.


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