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The multisided secure mobile wallet platform that can make mCommerce happen in Europe

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The e-wallet offering Europeans a note-worthy alternative

There have been many failed attempts to develop a mobile e-wallet for Europe. The EU-funded PASSCLUB project might just have the answer.

Digital Economy

Part of the failure of previous initiatives to develop European mobile e-wallets has been accredited to the inability of the industries with vested interests (principally telecommunications and banking), to reach agreement on business models and user management. Moreover, it has been argued that attempts also did not prioritise the end-users, failing to engage with them properly as they have not understood user incentives and technology acceptance. The EU-funded PASSCLUB project, coordinated by the Spanish company Toro, has developed a cloud-based mobile commerce platform for an open, secure, cost-effective and scalable mobile wallet. The venture has succeeded in signing the first two customers, CaixaBank (the largest retail bank in Spain with 14 million customers) and Qwant (‘the European Search Engine that respects your privacy’, with a presence developing initially in France, Germany and Italy). A user-centric e-wallet solution PASSCLUB offers a user centric solution with access to mobile payment services (both online and physical), through a range of technologies including NFC (Near Field Communication) which uses wireless technology to link the device to a merchant’s terminal and QR codes for proximity payment, alongside integration with online payment options. The services are grouped inside a mobile application called the ‘Wallet’. As the project coordinator, Mr Gregory Puente-Castan explains, “The Wallet is a one-stop-access to all services which are included in the PASSCLUB platform, providing all the infrastructure and business solutions for the Service Providers (SPs).” In this way the platform creates a level playing field for all participating companies, as it provides access to services such as payment, marketing and loyalty schemes. As Mr Puente Castan puts it, “This means that companies can concentrate more on vying for customer attention, as they do in the real world.” The platform is developed, operated, and maintained by Barcelona’s Toro and is designed with the highest levels of interoperability and scalability. It is also capable of adaptation, through customised extensions, for a range of needs represented by mobile commerce operators such as banks, telecommunication companies, retailers and public transport operators. As for security concerns Mr Puente-Castan explains, “PASSCLUB is an aggregator of payment and mobile commerce services, meaning that all the security aspects are dealt with by the Service Providers themselves. As a platform, PASSCLUB complies with all the standard security procedures needed to offer Software-as-a-Service elements.” When it pays to be alternative PASSCLUB was set up to produce a comprehensive, flexible, user-centric mobile commerce platform that offers European citizens an alternative to the so-called GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon) group. A good example of putting this into action is the adoption of the technology by Qwant, in collaboration with Toro, to offer the Qwant Pay service to European consumers. The service will be initially launched in France by the end of 2018. Additionally, in Spain, the team will launch the CaixaBank mobile wallets, with the bank planning to use them to offer mobile commerce solutions to different users across Spain and Portugal, starting with the football clubs of La Liga. This commercial aspect to the project presented the team with the largest challenge as Mr Puente-Castan recalls, “We were too optimistic in our commercial forecast and did not expect the market to take off so slowly, so in the middle of the project we put additional effort into our business development, which is now really paying off.”


PASSCLUB, e-commerce, mobile wallet, banking, mobile, payment, software-as-a-service, telecommunications, retailers, public transport operators, security

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