Banking heavyweight UBS is helping galvanise the shift toward cashless society in its home region through its support of Swiss mobile payments service Paymit, which is expanding its service to the high street for the first time. Aimed at cafes, restaurants and market stalls that traditionally only accept cash, Paymit will let a pilot batch of participating merchants and service providers accept payments via mobile phones using its QR code stickers.
Launched by SIX Payment and Swisscom last summer with the support of UBS and other Swiss banks including Zürcher Kantonalbank, Paymit originally focused on peer to peer payments. The service was pitched as a tool to ease headaches over bill splitting and money owed to friends, letting customers send and receive payments from friends or contacts – say when they’re paying for pizza or going to the cinema. The bigger overall goal, however, is to create a single, country-wide mobile payments platform for Switzerland in partnership with all the region’s banks. Integrating with merchants is an important step in this ambition.
Pilot partners in Switzerland include café Coppolini and Swiss pizza delivery firm Dieci as well as global pizza delivery Domino’s. Paymit is also targeting students via the student union at the University of St Gallen. The strategy parallels Yoyo Payments in the UK, which initially partnered with Imperial College in London to power payments via QR code on campus.
For merchants, it’s a case of registering interest through Paymit’s website, after which SIX will run a suitability test on the business. They then get a sticker with a QR code on it to attach to their point of sale device. Paymit customers in participating stores can then scan the code with their phone, enter the amount due and pay.
Paymit’s mobile and cashless payments pilot will run until the end of this month with plans to launch an app for merchants in May this year. This will include both a checkout option to eliminate the need for small merchants to rely on cash and also in-app payments to let merchants accept Paymit as an option inside their apps.
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