French bank, Twitter partner on cash transfers by tweet
One of France’s largest banks is teaming up with Twitter this week to allow its customers to transfer money via tweets.
The move by Groupe BPCE coincides with Twitter’s own push into the world of online payments as the social network seeks new sources of revenue beyond advertising.
Twitter is racing other tech giants Apple and Facebook to get a foothold in new payment services for mobile phones or apps. They are collaborating and, in some cases, competing with banks and credit card issuers that have run the business for decades.
The bank said last month it was prepared to offer simple person-to-person money transfers via Twitter to French consumers, regardless of what bank they use, and without requiring the sender know the recipient’s banking details.
“(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 S-Money, BPCE’s mobile payments unit, said in the statement.
Payment by tweets will be managed via the bank’s S-Money service, which allows money transfers via text message and relies on the credit-card industry’s data security standards.
BPCE and Twitter declined to provide further details ahead of a news conference in Paris on Tuesday to unveil the service.
Last month, Twitter started trials of its own new service, dubbed “Twitter Buy”, to allow consumers to find and buy products on its social network.
The service embeds a “Twitter Buy” button inside tweets posted by more than two dozen stores, music artists and non-profits. Burberry, Home Depot, and musicians such as Pharrell and Megadeth are among the early vendors.
Twitter’s role to date has been to connect customers rather than processing payments or checking their identities.
So far banks have traditionally viewed 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.
Rakuten Bank in Japan offers a similar “Transfer by Facebook” service that lets users of its mobile banking app send money to anyone in their Facebook friends list. Investors have been worried about Twitter’s slowing user growth, sending the shares down about 17 percent this year, while rival Facebook’s have climbed 35 percent.