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Banks Take On Telcos In M-Commerce With Paylib

Three French banks have unveiled a new electronic wallet service allowing their customers to make one-click online payments from a broad array of connected devices. Developed by BNP Paribas , Société Générale and Banque Postale , Paylib is supported by eight leading French e-commerce sites, potentially exposing the application and the banks to tens of millions of online shoppers. BMI welcomes the direct participation of banks in the e-commerce value chain as it not only entitles them to a greater share of sales commissions but enables them to cross-sell a wider variety of financial services directly to consumers.

Prospective customers need to register their interest in using Paylib via their bank's website or dedicated mobile banking application by providing an e-mail address and password, plus a unique codeword that will validate online payments. Online retailers, many of whom already support the world's largest electronic payments systems, such as PayPal , will promote Paylib along with other payment options. The service will be free to end-users.

Online retailers supporting the service at launch include Voyages-sncf.com , ventes-privees.com , Priceminister , Showroomprive and Leroy Merlin . These named retailers recorded almost 30mn unique visitors per month in Q113 according to e-commerce trade association Fédération e-commerce et vente à distance ( FEVAD ) , citing data from Mediametrie. Meanwhile, the three banks serve a combined retail customer base of around 23mn and are slowly building individual mobile banking businesses.

M-Commerce Clicks With French Consumers
E/M-Commerce Sales Per Annum (EURbn)

Three French banks have unveiled a new electronic wallet service allowing their customers to make one-click online payments from a broad array of connected devices. Developed by BNP Paribas , Société Générale and Banque Postale , Paylib is supported by eight leading French e-commerce sites, potentially exposing the application and the banks to tens of millions of online shoppers. BMI welcomes the direct participation of banks in the e-commerce value chain as it not only entitles them to a greater share of sales commissions but enables them to cross-sell a wider variety of financial services directly to consumers.

Prospective customers need to register their interest in using Paylib via their bank's website or dedicated mobile banking application by providing an e-mail address and password, plus a unique codeword that will validate online payments. Online retailers, many of whom already support the world's largest electronic payments systems, such as PayPal , will promote Paylib along with other payment options. The service will be free to end-users.

M-Commerce Clicks With French Consumers
E/M-Commerce Sales Per Annum (EURbn)

Online retailers supporting the service at launch include Voyages-sncf.com , ventes-privees.com , Priceminister , Showroomprive and Leroy Merlin . These named retailers recorded almost 30mn unique visitors per month in Q113 according to e-commerce trade association Fédération e-commerce et vente à distance ( FEVAD ) , citing data from Mediametrie. Meanwhile, the three banks serve a combined retail customer base of around 23mn and are slowly building individual mobile banking businesses.

In developed markets banks have been relatively slow to directly engage with the electronic retailing business, at least as a revenue-generating proposition. This is despite the ubiquity of high-speed fixed and mobile broadband services and connected devices, and the popularity of online stores such as Amazon and eBay . Many have made token efforts to engage with consumers with applications for mobile devices that allow users to transfer monies between accounts or monitor/settle bills online, but few have made the leap into own-brand mobile wallet and payment services. BMI believes it makes sense for banks to take a more direct, proactive role in the e-commerce market, and the mobile commerce arena in particular. Independent payment platforms such as PayPal take all the commission from a vendor when an online transaction is completed, shutting banks out of the loop. By offering their own direct payment systems, banks can start earning sales commissions too.

FEVAD claims that the e-commerce market in France generated sales of approximately EUR45.0bn in 2012, up from EUR37.7bn in 2011 and EUR31.0bn in 2010. Meanwhile, the m-commerce market generated online sales worth EUR1.0bn in 2012, a 150% increase from EUR0.4bn a year earlier. There were 117,500 online retailers active in France at the end of 2012 - including Amazon.fr, Cdiscount and FNAC - meaning that partnership and additional service cross-selling opportu nities for the banks are substantial.

The banks will, however, be competing with an existing platform: Buyster , the mobile payment system developed and jointly operated by telecoms operators Orange , SFR and Bouygues Telecom . Additional competition from credit card providers will materialise before the end of 2013 as Mastercard and Visa plan to introduce an e-wallet service of their own. Failure to take a direct role in the transaction process would have left the banks as mere 'dumb pipes' in the e-commerce ecosystem. BMI therefore welcomes their decision to work together to develop and promote Paylib.

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Sector: Telecommunications
Geography: France
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