Belgacom, the largest telecommunications company in Belgium, and BNP Paribas Fortis, one of the country's leading banks, are jointly developing a mobile commerce "ecosystem" for Belgian merchants and consumers to enable seamless and secure shopping and payments via smartphones.
The companies selected Accenture (ACN) to help build and launch a new mobile platform that will enable Belgian consumers to use their mobile devices to make "in-app" payments (purchases conducted within mobile applications), receive tickets and coupons, and participate in loyalty programs for mobile shopping. The companies announced the agreement at Sibos in Dubai.
Under the agreement with Belgacom and BNP Paribas Fortis, Accenture is helping the two companies design and build a mobile wallet and platform based on the Accenture Mobility platform. Accenture also will provide application maintenance services and create a developer community for participating Belgian merchants to create mobile apps.
Belgacom's and BNP Paribas Fortis' joint solution - expected to be deployed in the spring of 2014 -will be designed to integrate directly with merchant mobile apps, creating an ecosystem for mobile commerce. It will be accessible to all customers who have a debit or credit card from any Belgian bank, no matter what smartphones and mobile operators they are using. The platform offers open accessibility to merchants and full integration and development-support for merchant apps.
"Successful mobile commerce requires accessibility, convenience and security for consumers, and an open ecosystem that welcomes all merchants, banks, infrastructure providers, and developers," said Bart Van Den Meersche, EVP Belgacom Enterprise Business Unit. "This mobile commerce platform opens the door to a level of modernization, efficiency and customer satisfaction that could make Belgium a leader in the worldwide mobile revolution. We are proud that Accenture is teaming with us to bring this innovation to market."
"By bundling payment capabilities with value added services such as ticketing, e-couponing and loyalty programs, our solution will bring huge benefits to Belgian merchants and consumers," said Peter Vandekerckhove, Managing Director at BNP Paribas Fortis.
"Accenture's expertise in banking, telecommunications and mobility - and their long history building complex large-scale solutions -- made them the ideal service provider in this initiative and we are pleased to work with them."
"The Belgian market has an opportunity to lead by example with a mobile wallet solution -- and with the cost efficiencies and consumer benefits that come with it," said Massimo Proverbio, global managing director of Accenture Payment Services. "Success requires strong retailer-orientation, a well-defined ecosystem of merchants and consumers, and a frictionless user experience where payment is embedded in an end-to-end shopping interaction. Belgacom's and BNP Paribas Fortis' strategy has the right ingredients for success."