ePassi and European Mobile Wallet Collaboration
by Tommy Sarja
Six European Mobile Wallets and Alipay Collaborate to Promote Digital Payment Interoperability across Europe
Bluecode, ePassi, Momo Pocket, Pagaqui, Pivo, Vipps and Alipay will adopt a unified QR code format to provide seamless and enhanced services to travelers, expats and merchants
Porto, June 10, 2019 – Six prominent mobile wallets across Europe, together with Alipay, announce today a collaboration to promote QR code-based digital payment interoperability for travelers both in Europe and from China.
Bluecode, ePassi, Momo Pocket, Pagaqui, Pivo, Vipps and Alipay are working towards adopting a unified QR code, marking a milestone in connecting Europe’s thriving yet fragmented mobile payment landscape.
When fully realized, users of the six participating European digital wallets will be able to make QR code-based payments with their home apps to local merchants in 10 European countries where those apps are accepted. At the same time, merchants that already accept mobile payments via the six apps in their respective domestic markets will also be able to easily accept payments made by customers of the other countries covered by the collaboration. In addition, Alipay’s Chinese users can also make payments to merchants that accept these wallets.
Helsinki-based ePassi and Oslo-based Vipps have started to prepare the roll-out of this QR code format for users across several Nordic countries, while the Spanish payment company MoMo, Pagaqui in Portugal and Austria’s Bluecode intend to extend the collaboration further later this summer in their respective home markets. This open-ended collaboration is expected to expand to more European countries and companies in the future.
The collaboration, the first of its kind in Europe, will bring together the six mobile wallet partners’ total of over 5 million users and around 190,000 merchants in Europe, as well as a fast growing number of travelers from China. In addition, as each of the participating firms grows the user base and merchant network, the growth is also beneficial to all of the collaborating firms’ merchants and users, respectively.
The partnering firms have agreed to apply a compatible QR code format provided by Alipay, the world’s most-used app outside social apps1. ePassi and Bluecode will act as a technology partner for some of the firms to simplify the technical integration among them.
The announcement came on the heels of Alipay activating the eight-year global partnership with UEFA in Porto, where the inaugural Nations League Final just concluded. “We feel extremely honoured to support the six partners with a payment format that helps to facilitate collaboration across so many notable organisations and countries. We hope mobile payment can connect Europe just as football does,” said Eric Jing, Chairman & CEO at Ant Financial.
"With over 12 years’ experience, ePassi is already a mobile payments front runner in QR code based payments in the Nordic and selected European countries. We are proud and honored to be part of this unique collaboration of European payment wallets, and to support other partners with their integration as well” says Risto Virkkala, CEO.
ePassi has a proven track record of doing cross wallet collaboration since 2016 when ePassi and Alipay combined their mobile payments system to serve Chinese tourists who travel from China to Finland to pay their purchases at merchants within ePassi’s network. “Our experience, feedback from our merchants, and proven statistics of increased sales have indicated tremendous success of such collaboration. Hence, it is a natural evolution that we at ePassi have strong drive and will to establish similar mobile payment wallet collaboration across Europe to bring even more value to our 35.000 and growing number of Merchants in Europe.” says Masood Arai, Vice President for ePassi’s General Payment Services.
ePassi’s ambition in this cooperation is to build a wider ecosystem together with its partners, and then in turn, provide even higher value to its customers, both merchants and consumers. In addition to Chinese tourists and ePassi local wallet users, the merchants will be able to receive mobile payment from customers from more European countries from its wallet partners. The ePassi wallet users, on the other hand, will be able to make ePassi payments outside Finland and Sweden.
“ePassi is not just about payment methods. Strong and targeted digital and none-digital marketing and communication plays a big role in supporting and promoting our Merchants and their offerings before, during and after the journey of visiting tourists – we want to offer the best shopping experience for consumers. As our payment method solution offering is becoming richer, we have also decided to invest more in our marketing and communication services as of Autumn 2019. The combination of payment methods and marketing services aim to serve our customers to their full potential needs”, continues Masood Arai.