(The following press release from Belgacom SA was received by e-mail. The
sender verified the statement.)
Belgacom and BNP Paribas Fortis jointly launch the Belgian Mobile Wallet to
bring in-app commerce to merchants and consumers
The arrival of "in-app commerce": a complete shopping experience seamlessly
integrated in the various apps on your smartphone. That's what BNP Paribas
Fortis, Belgacom and Accenture say the future holds for Belgian merchants and
consumers. This first "in-app commerce" solution will be based on a true
Belgian mobile wallet that integrates mobile payments, virtual ticketing,
e-couponing and loyalty programmes with great convenience and high security.
The pilot is planned end 2013 with full rollout as from spring 2014.
Bart Van Den Meersche, EVP Belgacom Enterprise Business Unit: "Belgacom has
always endeavoured to be a pioneer in innovation and in finding ways to make
people's lives easier. So, naturally, we are thrilled to be at the heart of
THE Belgian mobile wallet. An initiative which will, even more than before,
turn the smartphone into a true companion for our customers."
The time seems right for this kind of fundamental innovation. The smartphone
penetration in Belgium is booming, with already 4 out of 10 belgians already
having one. This impressive growth is largely driven by the success of mobile
apps and this is yet the beginning, as the total number of app downloads is
expected to further increase by 5 times in the coming 3 years.
But what does this mean for merchants, how can they drive sales through apps?
Until today the possibilities are rather limited due to lack of open solutions
for "in-app" payment, security and consumer convenience.
Therefore, BNP Paribas Fortis and Belgacom decided to launch a Belgian Mobile
Wallet that fully integrates all missing components needed for a full shopping
experience within the merchant app.
From a consumer point-of-view, this is how it will work. Suppose you plan a
movie night out. You use the app of your public transport provider to check
timetables and buy a ticket. Payment and storage of the ticket will be handled
On the way, you launch the app of the local movie theatre, select the film you
want to see and directly buy the ticket. Here too, payment and ticket happen
smoothly "in app". Having arrived at your destination, you have just enough
time for a burger. From the app of your favourite fast food chain, you make
your order while walking over to the restaurant. You accept their special
offer that is stored in the app, and the coupon is automatically applied when
you make the payment. In the process, your membership rewards are also
directly credited to your loyalty account. With your order confirmation on
screen, you skip the line and pick up your order. And you can do all of that
simply from your own smartphone.
For merchants and other service providers, this opens up a whole new world of
sales opportunities while reducing costs and increasing security.
From a consumer point of view this innovation will enable to put the wallet in
your smartphone, gain time by avoiding queues and get access to better shopping
deals. This is exactly in line with what the consumer demands for extra
convenience and services on his smartphone
Peter Vandekerckhove, Managing Director at BNP Paribas Fortis : "Just 3 weeks
ago we announced the launch of the MasterPass as a future solution for
e-commerce. Today we take one big step further and expand the use of MasterPass
to "in-app commerce". This makes mobile payments available in the exact spot
where we think consumers will make their purchases in the near future: in the
app. Both the mobile app and MasterPass are completely free for consumers. By
bundling the payment module with a range of value added services such as
ticketing, e-couponing and loyalty programmes, we are convinced of the benefits
our solution will bring to both merchants and consumers."
This innovation is unique in the market as it is the first time that the whole
shopping experience gets integrated and can be organized within any merchant
app. This creates the possibility for merchants to offer their customers a
simple and secure full in-app sales. For the consumers, they can easily enrol
and make free use of their unique mobile identity and wallet across all
participating merchant apps.
In addition, the Belgian Mobile Wallet is based on an open eco-system and is
accessible to any Belgian smartphone user with a bank/credit card from any
Belgian bank and a mobile data plan from any Belgian Mobile operator.
The platform, intended to be provided by Accenture, will offer 5 components to
merchants and app developers, who can integrate them into any mobile app. Core
components deal with mobile identity, security and the link to payment sources,
starting with BNP Paribas Fortis' recently announced MasterPass. Other modules
take care of delivery and storage of tickets (transport tickets, concerts,
theatre, sports, ...), of distribution, storage and redemption of coupons, and
of the link with loyalty programmes.
Fernand Dimidschstein, Managing Director at Accenture for Management Consulting
France & Benelux: "We firmly believe in the potential of this project, on the
one hand because of its openness to all customers regardless of their bank or
mobile operator and, on the other hand, because of its integrated approach,
providing payment and other services directly inside the apps for a seamless
user experience. In addition, Accenture has the proven experience and software
platforms needed for this structural innovation and make Belgium a great
example for the rest of the world."
The preparation phase for the platform is largely done and the actual
development will start soon. Pilots are planned end of 2013 with a selection of
key actors in the transport, retail, entertainment and app development
industries. Full rollout is planned as from spring 2014.
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