French Bank to Allow Customers to Tweet Money

Groupe BPCE, one of France’s largest banks, is teaming up with Twitter to enable money transfers for its customers via tweets. The second largest bank in France, by number of customers, is leveraging Twitter’s drive to enable online payments via its social network.

Twitter is looking for new sources of revenue apart from advertising. It is competing against other prominent players like Apple and Facebook. These tech giants are looking to get a bigger share in payment services for mobiles or applications. In some scenarios, they are competing against traditional players like banks and credit card issuers.

Groupe BPCE has cited that it would allow peer-to-peer money transfers via Twitter between French customers regardless of the banks they use. In a practical scenario, the sender would not require banking details of the recipient. The payments via Tweets would be managed by BPCE’s S-Money service. The S-Money service was developed to allow money transfers via SMS and uses data security standards set by the credit-card industry.

Last month, Twitter began testing out its payment service dubbed as Twitter Buy. The service embeds a Buy button inside tweets posted by merchant partners. Twitter used Stripe as the payment platform for its initial tests. Twitter’s partners in this payment initiative include stores, music artists and non-profit organizations. Twitter is planning to promote the potential of its network, as an advertising platform, now also for payments.

In the current scenario, it seems that banks are considering Twitter and other social media networks as effective marketing channels. Banks like BPCE see Twitter and others as a medium to a reach wider set of customers and give a boost to banks’ mobile banking initiatives. Twitter, on the other hand, is seeking partnerships with banks and other organizations experienced in online payments.

We believe Twitter has the upper hand in the payments market, primarily because people can retweet what they like. This feature means the messages’ reach could grow exponentially. The re-share focus of Twitter is attractive for businesses, because it gives them free exponential growth in reach. Users will get access to offers and merchandise they can’t get anywhere else and can act on them right in the Twitter apps for Android and iOS; sellers will gain a new way to convert the direct relationship they build with their followers into actual sales.