Twitter is one of the biggest social networking sites today, and it has recently become one of the major contributors to an upgraded method of online banking. Groupe BPCE, the second largest banking company in France, serves approximately 40 million customers worldwide, and it has recently teamed up with Twitter Inc. in order to design a useful alternative form of payment service which involves the use of the banking company’s S-money app.
S-money is a newly launched application which gives French bank account holders the opportunity to make payments to individuals and even organizations by simply subscribing to the app’s service. To use the app, account holders first need to have an account in Twitter. Once they are registered, they can conveniently make fast online payments to their friends, to the charities they support, and several organizations they desire to pay.
The steps of using twitter to transmit payments is quite easy. First, the sender and the recipient of the payment should connect their usernames in twitter to their accounts on the S-money app installed in their gadgets. Through this, standard security measures can be observed by both service users. After doing this, the sender can transfer payment online through a tweet by sending a tweet to @SmoneyFR. The tweet has to include #envoyer which means send in English, the amount to be sent to the recipient, and the username of the person who is expecting the payment.
Having said this, one question remains: How can a user confirm the transfer’s success? The S-money app is designed to send an SMS to whoever is sending the money to another party about the confirmation of the payment made online.
The main difference of using the application and making use of tweets to send money online is that payments made through Twitter are visible to the public. The chief advantage of having this high rate of visibility of financial transactions is that charities and several organizations can have a bigger chance of getting more sponsors, supporters, and donors through the increased publicity they will get via twitter, one of the world’s top social media sites. Aside from this, individuals who loan each other money can easily make repayments public. This way, it is much easier to recall whether a close friend had already paid her debts or not.
One of the two major criticisms that have surfaced in Twitter recently about the newly developed online money transfer is the automatic declaration of payment details online. Many users claim that the financial transactions an individual makes online should not be published in the social media. In response to this criticism, the developers of the online banking service explained that those who criticises the use of twitter for online money transfers miss an important detail, and that is the fact that those who make the payments via twitter are those who have chosen on their own to do so. No user of S-money is forced to make payments through twitter. Anyone can either choose to use the S-money or they can make the decision to publicize their transactions by using twitter.
The other criticism being faced by this newly launched online service is the fact that this can potentially trigger the launch of several phishing attempts towards S-money’s users.
It is expected that since there are far more French twitter users than those who have downloaded the S-money app, more opportunities for growth in the realm of social media can be maximized by Groupe BPCE on the months to come.