Banking Circle mandated by Bluecode and TWINT to provide cross-system foreign exchange and settlement services based on EMPSA interoperability specifications
London, June 7th 2022 – The German-Austrian Bluecode and the Swiss TWINT are the first mobile payment systems to become interoperable with one another. Interoperability of said two systems is based on the specifications of EMPSA (European Mobile Payments System Association). TWINT and Bluecode interoperability has already been running since January 2022 on a friends-and-family basis. To allow for more users paying in each other’s network, Bluecode and TWINT mandated Banking Circle as a central hub for foreign exchange (FX) and settlements. As a result, funds between the two mobile payment systems will be transferred via Banking Circle providing the central settlement account. Transactions in different currencies are automatically converted.
By making both mobile payment systems interoperable with each other, the approach aims to give consumers the possibility to use the mobile payment app they use at home while travelling abroad. Banking Circle has capitalised on its unique position as an independent bank with access to direct clearing and settlement in the SEPA region to contribute to establishing mobile payment interoperability in Europe.
Bluecode users are able to pay at the point of sale using any Bluecode-capable app in Switzerland, whilst TWINT users are able to pay at the point of sale in Austria and Germany with their TWINT-App. Bluecode and TWINT chose a centralized technical setup whereby funds are now easily converted and transferred via a Banking Circle access point.
Christian Pirkner, Chairman of EMPSA, explained the importance of this first example of cross-system interoperability: “It is absolutely great that TWINT and Bluecode have built interoperability based on EMPSA specifications. Them choosing Banking Circle for foreign exchange and settlement services ensures a highly scalable setup for the Alpine Corridor of EMPSA.”
“The collaboration between Bluecode and TWINT is tremendously exciting”, added Anders la Cour, Chief Executive Officer of Banking Circle Group. “We’re genuinely fixing a problem that was holding back growth in the European mobile payments market, with a solution that creates a better consumer experience as well as delivering a new revenue stream.
“Being entirely cloud-based enabled us to quickly develop this innovative approach to the European mobile payment market when we were first approached by the mobile payment providers. Building on our independent financial infrastructure we have already united two domestic P2M schemes and expect to connect more over the coming months. It could well turn into a game-changer for the mobile payments sector.”