Twitter Tests Mobile Payments Ahead of Apple Pay Launch

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Twitter is ready to enable simple person-to-person money transfers—but only in France, in what will be a closely-watched experiment.

Groupe BPCE is partnering with Twitter on the service, enabled by its S-Money mobile payments unit, which is open to French residents whether they’re customers of the bank or not.

Billed as “instant, free and secure,” the partnership “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 a statement.[more]

BPCE will offer person-to-person money transfers via a tweet, addressing privacy concerns by not requiring that the sender know the recipient’s banking details.

As all the major players strive to integrate m-commerce on top of their social platforms, simplicity, easy access and real-time response seem preeminent as illustrated by this latest, iterative move. 

The announcement follows last month’s launch of “Twitter Buy,” a button that lets consumers purchase items and services from within Twitter. 

“Twitter wants to more explicitly demonstrate the overall value of its network as an advertising platform,” commented Forrester Research analyst Thomas Husson, adding he expects to see similar moves sweeten the draw for marketing dollars.

The lines between social and commerce are nearly seamless now as the competition continues to amp up, with Facebook reportedly working on a pay component for its Messenger service and Apple ready to launch Apple Pay as soon as this week, according to reports.

Jean-Yves Forel, BPCE CEO commercial banking and insurance, stated that the S-Money launch “opens up a whole new range of payment possibilities on social networks.” It’s also not the only digital innovation move by the bank.

In its quest to innovate, BPCE is also working on a banking app for Google Glass, as you can check out (en Français, bien sûr) below.

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