French mobile payment services provider S-money, owned by Frances second largest bank Groupe BPCE, becomes the first in the world to offer peer-to-peer money transfer via Twitter. As Ciara Lee reports the move by Groupe BPCE coincides with Twitter's push to seek new sources of revenue beyond advertising.
From saying to paying Twitter's venturing into a new world. So too is France's second largest bank - Group BPCE is offering users the chance to move money directly through Twitter. Anyone with one of their S-Money accounts can make a transfer Tweet regardless of what bank they use. The sender doesn't even have to know the recipient's banking details. S-Money Chief Technical Officer, Armand Dos Santos. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF TECHNICAL OFFICER OF S-MONEY, ARMAND DOS SANTOS, SAYING: "It's just a new way to communicate about the transaction that you do. You are able to say to your Twitter community that for a specific event, or let's say for a charity, you have sent money to the charity or to a specific event, like for example for a birthday gift." The service coincides with Twitter's own push into the world of online payments as it seeks revenue beyond advertising. It's developing its own payment system to allow users to purchase products directly through the platform. The service embeds a "Twitter Buy" button inside tweets posted by more than two dozen stores, music artists and charities. Burberry is one of the big brands already signed up. But Twitter faces competition. Both Facebook and Apple are said to be developing their own systems - Facebook through its messenger service and Apple through its mobile handsets. Thomas Husson, is a marketing strategy analyst at Forrester Research (SOUNDBITE) (English) THOMAS HUSSON, MARKETING STRATEGY ANALYST AT FORRESTER RESEARCH, SAYING: "I think they have to constantly innovate, launching new features, new services, to enhance the value of the product itself, and of the platform, to increase the value of the brands. I think there is sort of a paradox here. Twitter started more as a private messaging platform, and enabling peer to peer communication. And they have morphed into a public broadcasting media real time platform.." Investors have been worried about Twitter's slowing user growth, sending shares down about 17 percent this year. Venturing into areas traditionally operated by banks could help. And it's no wonder then that banks are developing services of their own to make sure they're not beaten.