BNP Paribas Fortis and SIX Payment Services (SIX) are entering into a unique partnership, targeted to servicing merchants of all sizes and industries in Belgium. BNP Paribas Fortis and SIX will be providing merchants with comprehensive payment solutions, from payment terminals to acquiring services. It is the intention to be the first real alternative in the Belgian market for Bancontact/Mister Cash (BC/MC). BNP Paribas Fortis will leverage the model that SIX has developed for banks who wish to extend their services into the acquiring business.
The opening of Belgium’s BC/MC card scheme ends a monopoly situation in the Belgian card payment market. Via the new partnership, merchants will enjoy a “one stop shopping offer” with high quality services and payment terminals, which will be independent from their current provider.
The payment terminals accept BC/MC debit cards as well as credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, CUP, Diners) and are supported by a full range of value added services. Merchants will benefit from simple, fast and secure payments at a competitive pricing for card transactions accepted via fixed, portable or mobile payment terminals. They will receive a daily integrated report that provides a comprehensive overview of all transactions.
The cooperation is an acquiring partnership, in which the bank holds full customer ownership. Nearly 900 BNP Paribas Fortis branches are customer touch-points for merchants. BNP Paribas Fortis can fully leverage the economies of scale that stem from the merchant base of 180,000 that SIX is providing integrated services for to-date, whilst at the same time avoiding huge investments and also the vast effort of scheme compliance.
For SIX, the partnership with BNP Paribas Fortis is another step towards enlarging its footprint in Europe. Being the provider of the SEPA switch for Bancontact/MisterCash and processing partner of many banks, SIX has been a player on the Belgium market since 2005. “We observe the evolution of the payment market: throughout Europe, banks are moving toward Acquiring, which is traditionally a core competence of SIX. BNP Paribas Fortis was our partner of choice in Belgium, its huge branch network is an ideal gateway to addressing merchants on a broad level”, says Luc Holper, Head Market Development, SIX Payment Services. By signing up with BNP Paribas Fortis, Belgian merchants can benefit from the vast acquiring and enabling expertise of SIX and its services delivered on a robust and reliable platform.
The partnership allows BNP Paribas Fortis to deepen its customer relationship by expanding the financial services offer with solutions to accept card payments. Gunter Uytterhoeven, Director Marketing at BNP Paribas Fortis, says: “Merchants will enjoy the benefits of having a single partner for all of their payments and collections needs. We’re happy to be able expand our offering for merchant customers with the help of SIX, as we’ve got a similar understanding of service excellence. This new partnership will be a key element to support the BNP Paribas Fortis service range and complements the innovative services that were launched earlier this year.”