Mr Auer, are Raiffeisen clients TWINT users?
We have observed a high level of interest in TWINT among Raiffeisen clients and have been working with TWINT as a bank since the very beginning. Of course, Raiffeisen clients are primarily cash users as is the case in general for most people in Switzerland. For many, cash is simply a matter of habit. But who hasn’t already experienced many situations where paying with cash is an arduous task? For example, when you don’t have the coins you need to pay at a parking metre or if you don’t have the right change at a farm shop. Here, TWINT now has many good solutions up its sleeve. And I am convinced that Raiffeisen clients will therefore in future use TWINT even more frequently.
Do you use TWINT yourself then?
I definitely do and I am not just saying that now because I have to. I find that in the aforementioned situations, in particular, TWINT has unrivalled benefits both for payers and merchants. But payments with TWINT in the area of e-commerce are also unparalleled. I don’t have to disclose any credit card details and the purchase process is also quick and uncomplicated. And I also really like using the TWINT peer-to-peer function, which allows for the direct transfer of small amounts to other people in an extremely straightforward manner.
TWINT is being seen ever more frequently in towns and cities – do you believe it has shortcomings in rural areas?
Absolutely not. TWINT is strong everywhere where it can provide direct benefits to users. Those who have recognised how quickly you can make e-commerce payments with TWINT without the arduous task of typing in payment information will not want to do without it in future. And people who have realised that they don’t need to get their customer loyalty card out of their wallet and present it at the cash register because it is saved with TWINT will find the payment process quicker than would be the case with cash or a credit card. I am most hopeful about the expansion of the application options as I mentioned, i.e. the option to pay for your parking fee, at weekly markets, at farm shops etc. TWINT is launching the corresponding introduction phases right now.
You mention farm shops. Are farmers receptive to such ‘modern’ payment systems?
What do you mean exactly? Young farmers, in particular, have long since welcomed the digital world and are also using many digitally controlled tools at their farms. Farmers who make use of direct sales options can benefit a great deal from TWINT. Farming families sell their produce directly at the market but setting up a payment terminal at the market stall would be far too expensive. You often also see unattended farm shops with payment collection tins. TWINT has also developed a simple solution here that will be tested over the coming weeks. Using this solution, customers faced with such situations will be able to pay for their purchase by simply scanning a QR code on a sticker with the TWINT app before entering and confirming the amount. The money is transferred directly to the farmer’s account without the farmer having to invest in expensive and elaborate infrastructure.
Cash is made digital with the TWINT app. How do you view the future of mobile payments in Switzerland?
The National Bank has shown that 10 % of the population use mobile payment forms and that this figure is currently rising. We are also observing this with our own clients. They are initially hesitant to try out these solutions but as the application options expand this testing phase becomes a habit. After all, we always have our smartphone at our side – this is less and less the case with coins and this is mostly true at precisely those times we need them or even have to pay to the very cent.
I am convinced that while TWINT is currently only seeing the start of a change of thinking among the population, it has closer ties to the people of Switzerland than other mobile payment systems, better meets their needs and – very importantly – is a debit system, meaning that users do not have to buy on credit. This is very important to the people of Switzerland. They can debit their purchases directly to their bank account and do not need to check additional statements at the end of the month.
Michael Auer, member of the Executive Board, Raiffeisen Switzerland