French Bank Lets Customers Transfer Money Via Twitter
Mobile payments are the next big-thing. French bank Groupe BPCE — one of the largest banks in France — has teamed up with social network Twitter Inc. to give their customers a new service for mobile payments. This service will allow the customers of BPCE to transfer money via tweets.
The service is a win-win for both BPCE and Twitter. It will ease the customers of BPCE bank in making mobile payments, and on the other hand, Twitter can compete with Apple’s recently launched mobile payments service Apple Pay, PayPal, and Facebook.
The bank said last month that it was looking for ways to let every consumer transfer money using tweets, irrespective of the bank they use.
“(S-Money) offers Twitter users in France a new way to send each other money, irrespective of their bank and without having to enter the beneficiary’s bank details, with a simple tweet,” Nicolas Chatillon, chief executive of BPCE’s mobile payments unit, said in a statement.
The move will also help Twitter in finding ways, other than advertising, to generate revenue. Investors are being skeptical on investing in the world’s second most-popular social network. Twitter has struggled in maintaining its growth and saw a decline of 17 percent in shares this year. Whereas, its biggest competitor Facebook saw a rise of 35 percent in shares.
Like Apple Pay, Facebook is also working to find its way into mobile payments domain. Rakuten Bank in Japan offers a similar service that lets Facebook users transfer money to anyone in their friends list. Twitter also started trials of its own service, Twitter Buy, that lets users find and buy products on its social network.
Twitter Buy will also be embedding a “Buy” button inside tweets posted by stores and other businesses. Some of the early adopters of this service are Burberry, Home Depot, and musicians such as Pharrell and Megadeth.
Banks have already recognized the potential that social networks carry and they look towards using these platforms to interact directly with their customers. “At the moment, banks are probably viewing Twitter and other social media networks as marketing channels to reach a wider set of their customers and to extend the bank’s existing mobile banking initiatives,” said Andrew Copeman, a payments analyst with financial services research firm AITE Group.
Current biggest player in online payments PayPal is doing everything it can to keep others away from payments domain. Will the new entrants be able to succeed in this industry? Only time will tell.