On the eve of SIA Expo 2014 in Milan, SIA called a press conference to announce the launch of a new person to person (P2P) payments solutions called Jiffy.
Jiffy is available as an app on the iOS, Android and Windows Phone operating systems. The app is designed to allow real-time money transfers according to Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) standards.
Once the app is downloaded, customers using any of the nine Italian banks signed up to the service can log in to use Jiffy with their home internet banking username and password. Once logged in on their mobile device, Jiffy will display which users in their phone contacts list also are signed up. This is similar to the interface users see on the popular WhatsApp messaging tool.
Jiffy users can also make payments to contacts that don’t bank with an institution that recognises Jiffy, as the system can also work with an International Bank Account Number (IBAN), and so payments can be made directly to a prepaid card that contains an IBAN.
SIA commented that every bank that signs up to deliver Jiffy to its customers can define its own costs. Therefore this service may come as part of a current account package, or be delivered as a special service, depending on the bank.
Currently nine banks in Italy are subscribed to the Jiffy service, which account for 60% of Italian current accounts, according to SIA.
While the bank that runs the Jiffy service will set daily, monthly and transaction limits for the customer, people that use this service will be able to set ‘parental controls’ to lower the limits if their children are signed up to Jiffy.
SIA made it clear in the press conference that, while this pilot of Jiffy is running purely in Italy and success will be defined here, there is a natural extension of the service to the eurozone if and when the pilot is successful. The Jiffy service uses SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) standards, and so there is the potential for this app to reach every bank in Europe and potentially 400m current accounts.
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