BNP Paribas Fortis and Belgacom launch the Belgian mobile wallet

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Belgacom and BNP Paribas Fortis jointly launch the Belgian Mobile Wallet to bring in-app commerce to merchants and consumers.

The arrival of ‘in-app commerce’:  a complete shopping experience seamlessly integrated in the various apps on your smartphone – that’s what BNP Paribas Fortis, Belgacom and Accenture say the future holds for Belgian merchants and consumers.

This first ‘in-app commerce’ solution will be based on a true Belgian mobile wallet that integrates mobile payments, virtual ticketing, e-couponing and loyalty programmes with great convenience and high security. The pilot is planned end 2013 with full rollout as from spring 2014.

“Belgacom has always endeavoured to be a pioneer in innovation and in finding ways to make people’s lives easier. So, naturally, we are thrilled to be at the heart of the Belgian mobile wallet. An initiative which will, even more than before, turn the smartphone into a true companion for our customers,” says Bart Van Den Meersche, EVP Belgacom enterprise business unit.

The time seems right for this kind of fundamental innovation. The smartphone penetration in Belgium is booming, with already four out of ten Belgians already having one. This impressive growth is largely driven by the success of mobile apps and this is yet the beginning, as the total number of app downloads is expected to further increase by five times in the coming three years.

“Just 3 weeks ago we announced the launch of the MasterPass as a future solution for e-commerce. Today we take one big step further and expand the use of MasterPass to ‘in-app commerce’,” continues Peter Vandekerckhove, MD, BNP Paribas Fortis. “This makes mobile payments available in the exact spot where we think consumers will make their purchases in the near future: in the app. Both the mobile app and MasterPass are completely free for consumers. By bundling the payment module with a range of value added services such as ticketing, e-couponing and loyalty programmes, we are convinced of the benefits our solution will bring to both merchants and consumers.”

This innovation is unique in the market as it is the first time that the whole shopping experience gets integrated and can be organized within any merchant app. This creates the possibility for merchants to offer their customers a simple and secure full in-app sales. For the consumers, they can easily enrol and make free use of their unique mobile identity and wallet across all participating merchant apps.

In addition, the Belgian Mobile Wallet is based on an open eco-system and is accessible to any Belgian smartphone user with a bank/credit card from any Belgian bank and a mobile data plan from any Belgian Mobile operator.

The preparation phase for the platform is largely done and the actual development will start soon. Pilots are planned end of 2013 with a selection of key actors in the transport, retail, entertainment and app development industries.  Full rollout is planned as from spring 2014.

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