Western Union and Zelle Executives Dish on Competition and the Future of Mobile Payments

“Money is like manure; it’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around encouraging young things to grow,” wrote playwright Thornton Wilder, channeling 16th century British philosopher and statesman Francis Bacon. The old quote describes the digital movement of money--a hot area in tech stoked even brighter by Facebook’s announcement earlier this week about its Libra cryptocurrency project.

And Libra was the subject of the first question that Fortune senior writer Robert Hackett asked during a session at Fortune's inaugural Brainstorm Finance conference in Montauk, N.Y., on Wednesday. Providing the answers were Hikmet Ersek, president and CEO of The Western Union Company, and Lou Anne Alexander, group president of payment solutions at Early Warning Services, a firm co-owned by several big banks including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase[/f500link], and Wells Fargo that operates the two-year old Zelle payment app.

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