Six of Poland’s leading banks have teamed up to build their own mobile payment system.
Alior Bank, Bank Millennium, Banco Santander’s Bank Zachodni WBK, Commerzbank’s BRE Bank, ING Bank and PKO Polish Bank will introduce a system that enables customers to make purchases via their smartphones both in retailers and online.
The proposed service is based on technology already in use by PKO Polish Bank.
The initiative is notable because the banks are working on their own rather than partnering with credit card providers, mobile operators or retailers.
In the future, bank customers will download an app to their handsets to access the service. They then generate a onetime transaction code to make purchases from retailers, who need to update their point-of-sale terminals to accept such payments.
PKO Polish Bank’s system, which is supplied by Swedish vendor Accumulate, was launched in March this year. The six banks aim to have their new system in place by Q4, in time for the Christmas shopping season.
The system does not use NFC technology but it’s possible that could follow in the future, perhaps starting with NFC stickers attached to conventional handsets.
The new system could weaken the dominance of credit card giants MasterCard and Visa who hold a powerful position in Poland’s payments market.
According to Reuters, many smaller merchants in the country only take cash because of the cost of processing credit cards. Poland’s parliament is currently working on legislation that would force a reduction in such fees.