BNP Paribas’ Laborde: ApplePay the next step for cash reliant Germany

Germany’s dependence on cash might be coming to an end, according to Thierry Laborde, deputy COO and head of domestic markets at BNP Paribas.

“The way to bank in each country in Europe is a little bit different,” said Laborde on the sidelines of BNP Paribas’ user experience day. “For instance, France – like the UK – is a card market. The card is the preferred way of payment. In Germany it is still cash. The first launch of ApplePay by Commerzbank in Germany for example was a big success.”

“In France, in my opinion it is not the death of the card, in 5 – 10 years we will see, but it is the preferred way of payment in France like in the UK. In Germany, it is quite different because they use cash a lot. So, when you use cash it is very practical to use a smartphone instead of the card,” he said.

On June 18, Facebook announced the company’s plans to launch its cryptocurrency Libra, and the development of its digital wallet Calibra by 2020.

“For many people around the world, even basic financial services are still out of reach: almost half of the adults in the world don’t have an active bank account and those numbers are worse in developing countries and even worse for women. The cost of that exclusion is high — approximately 70% of small businesses in developing countries lack access to credit and $25bn is lost by migrants every year through remittance fees,” read the statement.

For Larborde, such a cryptocurrency is not needed in Europe.

“My belief is that in Europe it is not necessary to create an alternative system. Are your services unreliable, unsecure, or are they not open?” Laborde said.

“What does it mean in terms of data risks, in terms of data management because we are talking about companies who have lost user data and what is the regulation going to be, and how enthusiastic will the public be? We can say that electronic currency in Europe has been received rather coolly,” said Laborde.

“In the questions we ask ourselves, you and I, the first one is what the penetration of this type of digital asset after many failures, you learn from those failures, but we’ll see what they have learned from them… This phenomenon highlights something that started quite a few years ago, the world is becoming more and more fragmented, and will be even more fragmented in the future,” said Laborde.

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a report on June 19, outlining the regulator’s supervision perimeter, and also acknowledged the regulation challenges presented by bigtechs’ movement into financial services.

“The boundary between providing mostly unregulated technical infrastructure to deliver financial services and providing regulated activities is increasingly narrowing. This also raises questions around whether financial regulators have the necessary tools and techniques to effectively oversee those organisations,” the report stated.


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