BNP Paribas, Société Générale and Banque Postale will launch PayLib, their own online payment service today. The banks are hoping to challenge market leader PayPal with this new service.
23 million account holders
PayLib has been developed for payments through pc, laptop, smartphones and tablets and will be offered - for free - to all 23 million account holders of the three major banks. PayPal, market leader in France, currently has some 7 to 8 million accounts in that area.
To entice as many customers as possible, the banks are pointing out PayLib’s safety and simplicity. You no longer have to type in a sixteen-digit code, followed by the expiration date and the digits on the back, like you have to do with Mastercard or Visa.
Moreover, the banks believe PayLib is the only payment solution guaranteeing that all given information remains within the bank. The promotional Youtube video shows that the consumer merely has to click the PayLib-logo, followed by an identification and password check, leaving all other matters to the bank.
Retailers and e-tailers are interested
The three major banks believe that, in the long run, they can attract one third of all online payments thanks to their 23 million account holders. If other banks were to join, a huge “critical mass” could be attained, rendering it unavoidable for those who sell online.
That may explain why “8 out of 15 of the largest French Webshops have joined in principle”, according to the initiators. Voyages-sncf.com, venteprivee.com, Leroy Merlin and PriceMinistes are but a few to have agreed, not in the least because PayLib asks a lower fee than PayPal's 3%.
Observers wonder whether the initiative of the French banks is too little, too late. 193 million worldwide users and some 7 to 8 in France not only make PayPal ‘incontournable’ (unsurpassable), it also has more than a decade of experience and is accepted pretty much worldwide.
Moreover, there is also the Kwixo-drama, an online payment service from Crédit Agricole, France’s biggest banking group. It was launched with lots of fanfare, aiming for “5 to 6 million users within 4 to 5 years”. In reality, the situation is much worse, with only 450,000 users as of today and only 1,200 webshops accepting the system. Remarkably, not a single webshop out of France’s largest 15 uses Kwixo. That goes to show that the battle against PayPall is far from won.