Money tweets! French bank users can now send money with Twitter

Money tweets! French bank users can now send money with Twitter
One of France’s largest banks has launched a new service which allows its users to transfer money via Twitter. The bank claims that all Twitter users in the country will be able to use the service irrespective of their bank.

“All Twitter users who hold a French bank card can now send money via a tweet: a simple, quick, free and secure means of payment,”saidBPCE banking group, France's second largest bank, in a statement.

Twitter users in France can now link their accounts to S-Money, a money-sharing application from BPCE. S-Money already allows bank customers to transfer money over cell phones via text messages.

Then the users can send a tweet by tagging the name of the person or to the organization that they want to deliver money. They should also type the sum of money along with the hashtag #envoyer (French: send).

After that they are directed to an application available on both Apple and Android, where the users will be able to finalize payment.

“This initiative between Groupe BPCE and S-Money on Twitter, illustrates our Group’s ability to deliver payment solutions in synch with new forms of usage and behavior exhibited by individuals,” Jean-Yves Forel, Groupe BPCE Chief Executive Officer, said in a press release.

Reuters / Benoit Tessier

According to Nicolas Chatillon, CEO of S-Money, this innovation “opens up numerous opportunities in the payments field.”

They include “charitable donations, crowdfunding in all its forms, ticketing, cash-back programs,” he said, adding that the Against Hunger Action charity group and Fundovino site dedicated to the world of wine, “are the first partners to associate themselves with the [BPCE] approach.”

Twitter users can send money both to a person and to organizations, regardless of which bank they use.

The payment, however, shouldn’t be more than 250 euros ($316) to a person or 500 euros ($632) to an organization. The payment will be visible on Twitter.

The service is only available in France and the customers have to have a French bank card and telephone number.

BPCE banking group says there are about 2.3 million potential users of the new service.

The banks are now probably viewing Twitter and other social media networks “as marketing channels to reach a wider set of customers and to extend the bank's existing mobile banking initiatives,” Andrew Copeman, a payments analyst from financial services research firm, AITE Group, told Reuters.

"From the Twitter point of view, there is a limit to their appetite for getting involved in payments processing itself," said Copeman.

BPCE is not the first banking group to use social network for its purpose.

In August, Japan’s Rakuten Bank announced the launch of a money transfer service using Facebook. Users are able to transfer money after logging into their Rakuten bank account.