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Jiffy launches instant in-store mobile payments at Italian hypermarkets


Jiffy, the service with 4.2m Italian users developed by SIA to send and receive money in real-time via smartphones, has added the Iper chain of hypermarkets to its user base, as it continues its expansion from peer-to-peer (P2P) fast mobile payments into the P2B (peer-to-business) sector.

The latest deal with four Iper hypermarkets initially, to be followed by 23 more before the end of the summer, follows on from earlier such arrangements with 150 retail outlets in Milan and Turin, in cooperation with Intesa Sanpaolo bank.

This latest supermarket deal is in conjunction with UBI Banca. The new directory service addition enables users to pay via the Jiffy app instantly and securely with those outlets that have signed up via the cooperating bank. The payment is made at the store by scanning the QR Code created by the merchant at the time of purchase.

The merchant enters the amount of the sale on its app view and a QR Code is generated in real-time, which the customer then simply scans with his or her smartphone. The customer can view the details of the payment on the app in the shop and authorise the transaction by fingerprint or PIN.

Both the merchant and the customer receive notification in real-time of the outcome of the transaction. Funds are immediately credited on the merchant’s current account, a key liquidity benefit.

Jiffy is currently accessible to more than 32 million Italian bank account holders, 80% of the total, thanks to earlier deals with other leading banking groups in the country including BNL, Gruppo Carige, Veneto Banca, Inbank, Raiffeisen, Sparkasse, UniCredit, Webank and so on. The directory service needs such scale to be viable.

Commenting on the supermarket deal in a statement, Marco Polissi, Head of Jiffy at SIA, said: “Our partnership with UBI and Iper marks a further milestone in the digital evolution of Jiffy from P2P mode to P2B mode. Our embrace of the mass retail channel demonstrates once again just how flexible and innovative this service is. Its use of a smartphone offers a whole range of opportunities: instant money transfers between individuals, purchases in shops, and finally now payments in supermarkets.”

According to Natascia Noveri, Head of Marketing at UBI Banca, their deal with Jiffy and Iper is an “another important step forward in the digitisation of cash in Italy” and acts as an important marker of “continuous innovation in P2B, which will soon lead to other interesting developments.”

News analysis: Mobile directory services
The long-standing P2P service in Italy relies on using a customer’s mobile phone number instead of an international bank account number (IBAN) in the same way that Sweden’s Swish (5 million users) or the UK’s Paym service (3.5m users) operate. But what is new is the move into the Italian P2B sector for the Jiffy directory service in a further effort to digitise cash in the country. This opens up new possibilities for its growing 4.2m-strong user base and Italian e-commerce. Indeed, continent-wide opportunities may open up as Europe’s increasing harmonisation continues.

Directory services also benefit from instant payment infrastructures. With the launch of Europe’s SCT Inst scheme in November last year new functionality and possibilities are now available. The second EU Payment Services Directive (PSD2) regulation also means the e-commerce and payment sector is now more open to competitors than ever before, so banks and infrastructure providers such as SIA, are keener than ever to lock customers into their ecosystems.

Jiffy now aligns with the RT1 pan-European instant payments infrastructure, which SIA built for EBA Clearing, giving reachability across the continent. It already complied with the older single euro payments area (SEPA) Credit Transfer (SCT) rules from its earlier P2P rollout. The same instrument is used as the basis for the SCT Inst (instant) element. Building on the older non-fast SCT instrument is intended to make adoption easier. SIA’s Jiffy service was initially developed in collaboration with the vendor, GFT.


Author: Neil Ainger