BNP Paribas Fortis will be the first bank in Belgium to propose MasterPass, the new virtual wallet. This is good news for both online shoppers and merchants willing to cash in on the opportunities offered by steady development of e-commerce.
“It is a very necessary initiative,” comments Gunter Uytterhoeven, Head of Marketing at BNP Paribas Fortis. “Belgium continues to lag behind neighbouring countries when it comes to electronic commerce. In 2012 sales over the Internet went up 25% in this country. This seems good news but in fact e-commerce has expanded faster in other countries. Actually, only 55% of Belgian web surfers have made an online purchase, versus 70 or 80% in neighbouring countries. Furthermore, online purchases here are not very frequent. As a result, e-commerce accounts for only 2 – 3% of global retail trade in Belgium, compared to 7 – 10% elsewhere. Last but not least, Belgian merchants’ presence in this distribution channel is still largely limited to international companies.”
The virtual wallet will make the online payment process much easier, which will benefit both consumers and merchants alike. Basically, the new payment solution comes close to foreign ‘wallet’-type products like Paypal. However, MasterPass will offer additional benefits in terms of convenience for consumers, and acceptance and costs for merchants. A simple activitation will allow BNP Paribas Fortis customers to access their payment wallet in which all their bank cards will have been stored. Another unique feature is that both new and renewed cards will be updated automatically. Furthermore, customers will be able to see details of each online purchase via Easy banking, the mobile banking application, or PC banking, the online banking platform of BNP Paribas Fortis. Such details will be shown in the account statement. The customer will be able to store all his debit and credit cards in the e-wallet, including those issued by other banks.
This means that online shopping will become significantly easier. All the customer will need to do is push on a new ‘check-out’ button, enter his BNP Paribas Fortis MasterPass password and click on the card he/she wishes to use to make his/her payment. The subsequent process will be fully automatic and integrated.
BNP Paribas Fortis expects to make the virtual payment wallet available to customers from the end of 2013.
See also the MasterCard press release.
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