UniCredit plans mobile payments play with First Data
European commercial bank UniCredit has chosen payment processing company First Data Corporation to help it pursue its mobile payments plans.
Under the deal, UniCredit will roll out a series of mobile payment tools, “intended to bring the entire shopping process into one experience that can be accessed via any type of device”.
The Italian pilot allows customers and merchants to process payments using QR codes, for which UniCredit is using First Data’s mobile gateway.
The QR code solution is meant to eliminate the risks associated with entering credit or debit card details for every transaction. First Data’s QR code tools can also include apps such as couponing, offers, ticketing or bill payments to encourage customer loyalty.
“The age of universal commerce is truly upon us and as a result First Data is enhancing its payments capabilities internationally to empower its financial institution clients,” said John Elkins, president, international regions, First Data. “UniCredit has recognised the opportunities that Universal Commerce offers and we are delighted to be working with it to make this a reality for its international customer base.”
Visa Europe predicts that by 2020 more than half its transactions will be carried out on a mobile device. That view has been given credence by a flurry of mobile payments activity across Europe in recent months, including launches in France, Poland, Spain and the UK, as well as Visa Europe’s own collaboration with IBM and Monitise, announced earlier this month.
In the UK, Barclays Pingit has been downloaded 1.8 million times, while rival Zapp is expecting to sign up five of the six major UK banks within the next few weeks, following a deal with acquirer WorldPay in September.
UniCredit is active in 22 European countries and has an international network present in approximately 50 markets, with approximately 9,500 branches and 160,000 employees. The Group operates in Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine.