Means of payment

Payment is an essential act, at the core of the relationship between customer and bank. A strategic lever on which all banking institutions are actively working to build customer loyalty through a seamless and secure experience.

In the world of payments, usage is becoming increasingly fragmented. Regardless of the situation, consumers want transactions that are above all seamless and secure, while retaining control of their purchasing act. During the Covid-19 crisis, bank card payments have been dominant, with two major trends: contactless payments (one in three transactions in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic) and online payment for e-commerce. BNP Paribas has adapted its products and services to ensure the best customer experience for individuals and professionals, in response to disintermediation.

Payments: innovating customer experience throughout the Group

Speed, simplicityseamlessness and security are the key words for customer experience, when it comes to payment. More than fast and seamless, payments are now increasingly instantaneous, as are bank transfers in particular. Instant transfers between bank accounts are increasingly used by BNP Paribas customers - almost one in ten today. For professionals, international transfers outside the SEPA zone can be made free of charge and with guaranteed exchange rates thanks to My transfer, an offer launched in February 2021. 

Smartphone and connected watch, new tools for contactless payment

Payments are also becoming invisible within increasingly digital customer journeys. The smartphone is thus at the heart of innovations concerning payments, specifically through their wallets. From Paylib and Apple Pay for iPhones to GooglePay for Androids, with Bancomat Pay in Italy and Pyconiq in Belgium, BNP Paribas’ credit cards are being dematerialised in smartphones. 

In addition to wallets, payment applications such as Lyf are increasingly accepted in shops, particularly for click & collect. These applications are all the more popular as they offer associated services such as loyalty cards, vouchers or bill-splitting.  

For owners of connected watches, Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay also enable payment using the watch’s pin code up to the payment limit of the pre-registered bank card. 

For our business clients, the name to remember is AXEPTA BNP Paribas, that centralises and designs all our innovative payment offers. AXEPTA serves the whole Group and illustrates our ability to follow trends and develop innovations for all customers.  

Innovations in payment cards: from dynamic cryptograms to biometrics

BNP Paribas was the first bank in France to offer a biometric card to its customers, in June 2021. After registering the client's fingerprint at a branch, this card allows secure contactless payments above the usual €50 limit. 

In terms of security, customers can find our latest innovation on the back of their bank cards: the dynamic cryptogram is a three-digit code that changes every three hours, limiting the risk of fraud when shopping online.  

Biometric card

Merchants also benefit from our innovations: they can now be paid via platforms such as We Chat Pay or Alipay. BNP Paribas also offers them the possibility of collecting payments remotely in complete security, with access to real-time transaction reporting. 

"Payments are in essence a technology for the customer experience. It is on the basis of client vision that we develop our solutions"

Neil Pein

Head of Payments Transformation at BNP Paribas and Global Head of Axepta BNP Paribas

Open Banking, a promising context for the payment sector

Since 2018 and the entry into force of the revised EU Payment Services Directive (PSD2), major developments in the world of payments have taken place, bringing new services to the forefront. This has given rise to the concept of “Open Banking”, which refers to the opening of the banking system and the secure sharing of certain data with other entities.

As a catalyst for innovation, fintechs have been able to offer new products and services to bank customers. Banks have also been able to offer their services through third-party channels.

Collaborating with fintechs to develop new payment services

In an open innovation approach, BNP Paribas has built its own payment ecosystem with fintechs. The goal? To detect the most innovative solutions that will enrich our own offers as well as our customers’ journeys. Another way to cooperate: some services are co-build with fintechs who bring their innovations and disruption to this ecosystem. These projects are focused on customer relationships management and data monitoring, which raise both security and confidentiality issues. 

"Fintechs work on ‘verticals’ in a specialised way. Integrating a specific solution into our customer journey via a partnership enables us to shorten the time to market."

Carlo Bovero

Global Head of Cards and Innovative Payments, BNP Paribas

Dedicated to merchants all over Europe, the new Instanea instant payment solution was launched in 2021, thanks to the collaboration between BNP Paribas and Token, an open banking specialist. The open banking APIs allow BNP Paribas’ business customers to access the Token Open Payments platform, providing them with a turnkey solution for instant account-to-account payments. 

BNP Paribas’ ambition: to become a European leader in payments

Building on its success in payments for its customers, the BNP Paribas Group supports the European Payment Initiative (EPI) which aims to create a unified, independent, competitive and open pan-European payments system. Developed with other European banks, this payment project covers all types of transactions, anywhere in Europe: payment in shops, online payment, cash withdrawals, payments between individuals. The EPI initiative has a major challenge: to reaffirm European sovereignty in the area of payments, up against major American technological players, including GAFA. 

Key figures payments

3Bn

number of transactions processed every year by BNP Paribas


65%+

share of contactless transactions 

in the total number of card payments in 10 Bank for International Settlements (BIS) member countries

1.3m

instant payments issued by the end of 2020

in BNP Paribas’ retail and digital banks in its domestic markets

Photos: © M-Agency, WavebreakMediaMicro, wedninth, darkbird