Six Polish FIs Join Forces on M-Payments (July 8, 2013)
July 8, 2013
Mobile payments in Poland may soon take a major step forward now that six leading Polish banks are working together to develop a mobile device-based, in-store payment system set to debut by the end of this year.
The banks involved include Poland’s largest lender, PKO Bank Polski, and together account for 70 percent of the country’s banking market. The new system will be based on PKO’s existing IKO app, which was released in March and enables users to make in-store payments and ATM withdrawals by entering a one-time numerical code generated by the app. The system does not involve a payment card network, and there are indications that the consortium is positioning the system an alternative to network branded payment cards. “This will be a more competitive system compared to the credit card system,” Boguslaw Kott, CEO of Bank Millennium, one of the banks in the partnership, told Reuters.
Similar partnerships have been formed in Europe to establish mobile-based payment standards, including the U.K.’s Weve joint venture and an alliance in Spain between Telefónica and two major banks. However, the Polish group is the first to be backed solely by financial institutions, according to the banks, who believe that will give them a leg up in encouraging consumers and retailers to adopt the system. In 2012, there were PLN153 billion (US$46 billion) in noncash transactions in Poland, including PLN85 billion (US$23 billion) in credit card payments, according to estimates from PKO Bank.