Switzerland’s five biggest banks are in discussions with top retailers on possibly developing a joint mobile payments platform for the country.
Credit Suisse, PostFinance, Raiffeisen, UBS and ZKB have begun talks with financial infrastructure provider SIX Group, retailers Coop and Migros and telecoms group Swisscom on how they might pool resources in developing such a service and fend off the threat of competition from Apple, Google and Samsung.
A joint statement said that the open-ended talks should produce initial results by early May and that any platform developed by the prospective partners would be open to others.
Currently, the potential partners are part of two competing mobile money services. UBS, ZKB, SIX and Swisscom have rolled out their Paymit mobile payment service for online and offline transactions. Meanwhile, PostFinance has enrolled several other banks for its own Twint offering.
Work will continue on these two technologically different services, but the various parties have also decided to investigate the creation of an integrated, standardised system.
Sentiment in the financial services sector deteriorated in the three months to September, as firms digested the challenges of lower interest rates and the uncertainty caused by the vote to leave the European Union (EU), according to the latest CBI/PwC Financial Services Survey.
However, a London summit on the industry’s introduction of the technology cautions that testing and acceptance are still at an early stage and firms should proceed with caution.
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