October 2, 2015
Auchan Luxembourg has kicked off the official launch of the 2nd generation of Digicash, the Luxembourg banks’ mobile payment product. This new version enables customers to link their Auchan Luxembourg loyalty cards to their bank’s App and get a best-in-class full contactless payment experience with the Digicash BEACONs. There is no longer any need to show the loyalty card at check-out: loyalty accounts are automatically topped up with every Digicash transaction. Payments are triggered through Digicash BEACONs using either Bluetooth or NFC signals.
With the goal of significantly improving the point-of-sale purchasing experience, Auchan Luxembourg has introduced Digicash, the Luxembourg banks’ mobile payment scheme, at its retail supermarkets. Digicash combines mobile payments with the retailer’s own loyalty programme, using SEPA account-to-account transactions as the underlying payment channel. Each partner bank now allows its users to connect their Auchan Luxembourg loyalty card to its Digicash App. This is a major step towards a full digitisation of the checkout process, significantly improving the customer’s experience by performing both transactions in a single step. Besides, this kind of cooperation between banks and a major retailer is a first. Its goal is to ensure a broad adoption of the product with a real user-centric approach.
From the consumer’s perspective, the implementation of the system takes out the friction of dealing with loyalty cards, benefits and payment at the till. Loyalty accounts are automatically topped up by the Digicash App at each payment. For the retailer, the number of steps in the checkout flow is substantially reduced and thus the overall check-out process becomes faster. What's more, the whole purchasing experience is significantly enhanced by the use of Digicash BEACON terminals at the till, allowing contactless mobile payments directly from the payer's bank account, triggered by Bluetooth or NFC technology. Besides their deployment at Auchan Luxembourg, Digicash BEACON terminals are currently being installed at points of sale all over the country.
This kind of integration of payment and loyalty accounts on smartphones is a further step towards a smart grouping of several IDs facilitated through a full digitisation of payment and loyalty identity tokens. This was not possible with traditional payment instruments until now.
The implementation of this unique technology is being evaluated by many players in other European and international markets. The aim is to inspire new in-store payment practices and usages. The potential for this type of solution is huge: developments at the point of sale, such as the management of in-app coupons, are already planned to further improve the shopping experience.
Raoul Mulheims, CEO of Digicash Payments, considers the implementation "an important milestone in the evolution of the Digicash product. Our goal is to position our product as "best in class" in all payment contexts. After having improved online and bill payment, this ambitious system offers real added value to payments made at major retail outlets."
About Digicash Payments S.A.
The Digicash mobile payment product and scheme was introduced on the Luxembourg market in November 2012 and is issued by country’s four major banks: BGL BNP Paribas, Luxembourg’s State and Savings Bank (Banque et Caisse d’Epargne de l’Etat, Luxembourg), Banque Internationale à Luxembourg (BIL) and POST Luxembourg. On the payer’s side, Digicash is available as an App for iOS and Android smartphones and distributed by the participating banks. The App has been downloaded by more than 13% of local bank clients. It is directly issued by banks and meets both the industry’s security standards and delivers an outstanding user experience.
In Luxembourg, payments are carried out from the payers’ bank account via SEPA Credit Transfers using existing interbank channels (STEP2). Being linked directly to bank accounts, Digicash differs from other mobile payment products that typically require users to open a new account or to top-up e-money accounts. It is used both for payments of small amounts and for higher value payments: the default spending limit is set at €2,500 per transaction and per week and can be increased or decreased by the customer (up to €10,000 for certain banks). On top of POS, bill and e/m-commerce payments, the Digicash TRANSFER service enables the partner banks’ clients to make payments to their peers using mobile phone numbers directly to and from their current accounts at participating banks.
After the successful establishment of a national mobile payments ecosystem, Digicash Payments S.A. is now using the highly competitive Luxembourg financial centre as a springboard to enter international markets. As a premium technology provider, Digicash Payments provides retail banks and payment specialists with an EU regulation-compliant end-to-end mobile payment solution (Apps, issuing and acquiring platforms) with a proven track record at a national level.