Kingfisher France Target Big Baskets with Unique A2A Payments Solution
While cards represent the predominant means of payment in these shops, customers who are working on those bigger projects often find that their credit limits are quickly reached. This is frustrating for the customer and for the shop.
Cheques are sometimes used, but these are expensive and slow to process, and are a risk for the seller. Cash payment for a typical large project basket is simply inconvenient. Often the only way to ensure the funds are available is via a convoluted and time-consuming wire transfer process. This creates a back-office headache for Kingfisher’s French entities, and often acts as a purchasing disincentive for the customer.
Finding the answer
The solution has its roots in the regulatory changes of PSD2 that paved the way for open banking, the roll-out of banking APIs, and the arrival of SEPA Instant Payments. These combine with emerging account-to-account (A2A) payment capabilities. For all its apparent complexity, BNP Paribas and Kingfisher have created a solution that ultimately simplifies and enhances the payments experience for all parties.
A2A in action
When a purchase is made, the shop sets up the payment process, using the customer’s preferred contact tool, including email, text, and instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp. To facilitate this, the services of third-party middleware vendor, Paytweak, are employed.
A “strong partnership” already existed between BNP Paribas and Paytweak, says the firm’s CEO, Thierry Meimoun. With Kingfisher connected to Instanea, Paytweak’s project team was fully involved in the implementation and integration of the solution with the merchant’s own systems, he reports. The project was deployed onsite and was live in a matter of days.
“Now, as the gateway between BNP Paribas, Kingfisher and its customers, we are able to trigger the payments and provide reports, integrating these directly with the merchant’s financial systems, ultimately ensuring the customer experience is fast, smooth and secure,” he says.
Paytweak’s platform (which is offered in 11 languages) uses customer and sales data to automatically generate a one-click secure payments link to BNP Paribas’ Instanea, which it sends to the customer. The message incorporates the transaction details alongside additional valuable customer data. It also includes an innovative unique transaction identifier code.
Upon receipt of this message, the customer accesses Instanea where they choose their online bank. They are redirected to that bank to validate the details and then authorise the payment. The customer’s bank initiates several checks, such as sufficient funds availability either in the customer’s account or through their approved overdraft facility. If all is well, the bank proceeds with the irrevocable instant payment from the customer’s bank account to the relevant Kingfisher BNP Paribas account.
Kingfisher receives instant notification of the payment action, along with all the relevant transactional data and the unique identifier. Paytweak simultaneously notifies the shop of the receipt of its customer’s funds, the shop is then able to release the goods. The entire round trip for this to happen takes just a few seconds. As Meimoun says, “from start to finish, this is a near real-time experience”.