Twitter users in France can soon send money to their followers using the microblogging site as one of the country’s largest banks has teamed up with the company to allow its customers to transfer money via tweets, according to reports. The new service will be available to any Twitter user in France with a bank account.
The move by S-money, a division of the second-largest French banking group by customers, Groupe BPCE, to join hands with Twitter comes at a time when the San Francisco-based social network has turned its focus toward online payments as it seeks to build new sources of revenue, Reuters reported, adding that the service is scheduled to be unveiled at a news conference in Paris on Tuesday.
“(S-Money) offers Twitter users in France a new way to send each other money, irrespective of their bank and without having to enter the beneficiary's bank details, with a simple tweet,” Nicolas Chatillon, the CEO of S-Money, said in a statement, obtained by Reuters.
Groupe BPCE reportedly said last month that the bank was preparing to offer money transfers via Twitter to French customers, regardless of where they bank, and without requiring the sender to know the banking details of the recipient. S-Money, which allows money transfers via text messages, will manage the payments tweeted by users.
Olivier Gonzalez, Twitter's country manager in France, reportedly said that the site's 140-character message model is well suited for payments because of its “live, public, conversational dimension.” However, the company did not say whether the payments would be kept private, or visible to select people, the Financial Times reported.
Twitter, which is competing with rivals, such as Apple and Facebook, to get a foothold in the nascent mobile-payments segment, announced a new service, dubbed “Twitter Buy” last month to allow users to find and purchase products on the social network, with the payments enabled by Stripe, a San Francisco-based start-up.
“From the Twitter point of view, there is a limit to their appetite for getting involved in payments processing itself,” Andrew Copeman, an analyst at AITE Group, an Edinburgh, Scotland-based financial services firm, told Reuters. “At the moment, banks are probably viewing Twitter and other social media networks as marketing channels to reach a wider set of their customers and to extend the bank's existing mobile banking initiatives.”