French electronic wallets merge to create ‘universal mobile payment solution’

TRANSFORMATION: Fivory will evolve into a new mobile payment solution in 2017

French bank BNP Paribas and supermarket giant Carrefour are to merge their Wa! and Fivory electronic wallets to create a “unified, universal mobile payment solution”, allowing customers to make payments, receive loyalty rewards and make peer-to-peer money transfers.

The new app, backed by Credit Mutuel-CIC, Auchan Retail France, Mastercard, Oney and Total, will receive its brand name by the end of this year and launch in early 2017.

It will allow customers to pay for purchases in-store and online, with the guarantee of still being able to claim their usual personal loyalty benefits, plus coupons and special offers.

Designed to “meet the customer’s desire for simplicity, convenience and personalisation while maintaining a high level of security and data protection”, it will also make use of mobile payment services including peer-to-peer money transfers and an invoice settlement facility.

‘Absolutely indispensable’

The Fivory mobile wallet project was piloted by Credit Mutuel-CIC in the Boulogne-Billancourt area of Paris in 2014. The latest move is described as an “absolutely indispensable” move for retailers aiming to meet the challenge of a “revolution underway in the retailing sector” caused by the predominance of smartphones and social networks, and the “need to offer new purchasing experiences and properly manage the customer relationships which result”.

“This constitutes a new phase for our initiative,” says BNP Paribas Group CEO Jean-Laurent Bonnafé. “We’re seeing growing interest in the market for such a solution and it’s now vital that the complementary players work together to build and make available a solution able to meet new customer expectations in this changing world.”

Georges Plassat, chairman and chief executive of Carrefour, adds: “We’re extremely keen to find solutions that enable us to anticipate our customers’ needs and expectations and improve both the purchasing experience and the service we provide – before, during and after the shopping expedition. This is absolutely indispensable if we’re going to do our job properly.”

Enhanced experience

Customers at Auchan Retail France stores were due to be able to pay for purchases on their mobile phone using NFC or QR codes through the Fivory mobile wallet early in 2017.

Auchan Retail’s general manager Wilhelm Hubner says the unified mobile payment solution, which will be integrated into the myAuchan app, will offer “enhanced benefits to customers, comprising paperless billing at the checkout, money-off vouchers and loyalty programmes”.

“All serving to streamline the customer’s movement through the checkout and underpinning the new-generation retailing experience that we’re building day-by-day,” he adds.

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