Third mobile payment service bypassing cards launched in Poland

Mobile payment is hot in Poland. Yesterday a third mobile payment service, named iKasa, was officially launched. The service is by the large retail chain Biedronka, having more then 2200 shops and expecting to grow to over 3000 within two years. From start the service is backed by three banks and the user needs to have an account in one of these. The plan is to add more banks later.

The transaction is like a debit card transaction and money are deducted from your bank account. This solves a problem that Biedronka customers had, though only cash was accepted in the shops (Biedronka says that the card interchange fee is to high). With the mobile payment service the company is bypassing cards and interchange fees. iKasa is very easy to use, and a transaction is said to take approx 10 seconds.

Another example of a mobile payment service in Poland is the IKO service from the largest bank in Poland, PKO Bank Polski. The IKO service is one of the largest commercial rollouts of a mobile payment service in the world and includes 65 000 POS-terminals, 3 500 ATMs and thousands of E-Commerce sites.

My general comment must be; what will be the card company’s response to these challengers? I’m sure they will do something..even though lower the fees may not be their first move.

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