Crédit Agricole has unveiled a mobile payments service in Paris, taking on payments heavyweights such as PayPal.
It is called kwixo and will enable person-to-person (P2P), business-to-business (B2B) and person-to-business (P2B) payments via mobile handsets and the internet.
Customers will have no need to hold a credit card to use the service.
According to Crédit Agricole, kwixo is all set to go live in mid-June; the website at https://www.kwixo.com/ is already live and accepting customer registrations.
As an incentive to flag up the launch, consumers signing up to the service will be able to make up to three remittances for no charge within the first 30 days following registration.
For P2P payments, the recipient pays no fee; the sender will pay a $1 fee for transfers up to €30.
For transfers between €30 and €100, the fee will be €2 while remittances in excess of €100 will incur a fee of €3 for the sender.
The last two fees will be reduced to €1 as an introductory period until the end of August.
Bruno de Laage, Crédit Agricole’s deputy CEO in charge of retail banking and specialised financial services, told RBI ahead of the official launch in Paris:
“Our banks in France have a 20% market share, but we expect this solution to reach all 60m people in France eventually. We expect it to go viral, in particular among the 11 to 17 year old age group.”
Facebook and Twitter will form part of Crédit Agricole’s marketing push to promote the service.
Consumers will have to register with kwixo in order to send and receive money but de Laage emphasised that they will not have to switch banks.
“We decided to roll out this solution five years ago, but think that the market is ready for this now and the solution safe enough. We might roll it out across our other markets,” de Laage said.
De Laage spoke to RBI on the sidelines of Crédit Agricole’s investor day in Milan, at which the bank unveiled details of its revised retail banking strategy.
Crédit Agricole’s CEO Jean-Paul Chifflet said that the bank was targeting fresh synergies between all its member banks. In particular, Crédit Agricole set out details of major investments across its IT systems.
Crédit Agricole, France’s largest retail bank, also stressed its ongoing support for Greek subsidiary, Emporiki.
Elsewhere, Crédit Agricole will continue to target investment in Poland.