> Posted by Jeffrey Riecke, Communications Associate, CFI
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Twitter and Groupe BPCE, France’s second-largest bank, are teaming up to enable Twitter’s users to complete person-to-person money transfers using tweets. Payments on the service will be open to anyone in the country, not just Groupe BPCE users, and won’t require senders to know the recipient’s banking details to initiate a transaction. The payments will be managed by S-Money, Groupe BPCE’s mobile money unit.
The development comes amid a wave of new offerings from digital and internet-based payments providers, both newcomers and veterans. In 2012, Western Union experienced a 41 percent increase in online transactions. Venmo, the PayPal-owned smartphone app that integrates users’ social info, reached a transaction volume of US$ 468 million in the second quarter of this year, a 347 percent increase over last year’s Q2 figure. Last month, with a portion of users in the United States, Twitter also began testing its potential to be a retail marketplace with Twitter Buy. The platform update integrates a “buy button” into the tweets of companies selling products or services, harnessing the Twitter stream of tweets as an avenue for online window shopping.
Twitter’s top five countries for most users per capita are Kuwait, the Netherlands, Brunei, the U.K., and the U.S. (longer list here). GSMA estimates that global smartphone penetration per population will increase from 2012’s rate of 19 percent to 32 percent in 2017. In sub-Saharan Africa over the same period, the rate is anticipated to increase from 4 to 20 percent, giving many more people access to Twitter.
Further details on the Twitter/Groupe BPCE service will be unveiled at a news conference in Paris on Tuesday, October 14.
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