According to BITKOM, the German high-tech industry association, 14 million Germans can imagine using nothing but their smartphone to pay for their shopping. But it looks like it could be a long wait before the first universally deployable mobile payment solution hits Germany. The picture is totally different in Italy, where GFT has been working on a digital wallet with the transaction services provider SIA. The successful new solution, which will also make it possible to transfer money to other individuals, will be introduced at the Digital Banking Lab at the CeBIT trade fair (CODE_n, Hall 16, Stand D30).
Why run around the whole time with small change or plastic money in your pocket when it would be so much easier paying for purchased items with a smartphone? This is exactly what more and more Germans are asking themselves, especially the kinds of mobile users who only ever put their device down to go to bed. At the moment, however, the mobile payment market is highly segmented and it’s rare to be even given the opportunity to use a mobile phone to make payments. Now is a good time for banks to agree a common standard before it’s too late … ie, before Apple, PayPal and co. snap up this lucrative emerging market for themselves.
All it takes is a glance to the other side of the Alps to see how banks are raising their profiles as providers of smart payment solutions, simply by taking their customers’ wishes seriously
At GFT, a 20-strong team of Spanish and Italian development experts has been working on a digital wallet solution since 2013. The first major Italian bank jumped on board last autumn, joining forces with the transaction services provider SIA to launch a payment app called Jiffy. It turned out to be an appropriate name as it didn’t take long to catch on. Jiffy is based on SEPA, the uniform system now used throughout Europe for cashless payment transactions applicable to the ‘single euro payments area’. As a result, the solution could potentially be used by all SEPA banks, extending its services to around 400 million account holders in Europe.
Users of the app enjoy the many different ways the solution can be used in cafes, supermarkets and other outlets. They are also taken by the app’s user-friendly interface. The MasterPass payment service can be used to make payments through the internet. Another benefit with Jiffy is that it allows users to transfer money to friends or colleagues: simply click on a contact on your smartphone. Account numbers and transfer forms are a thing of the past: a small icon appears next to the name if the recipient already uses Jiffy and the required amount is transferred in an instant. If they’re not registered with Jiffy yet, they receive a text message with details on how to register in a few simple steps.
The Jiffy mobile payments platform offers ultimate security. Not only does it compare the customer and the account details with authentication protocols on the smartphone, it also takes care of communication with banking interfaces. And thanks to cross-platform Appverse Web technology, the smartphone wallet also supports mobile operating systems based on Android, iOS and Windows Mobile.