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French Retailer, Bank Tag Team on Mobile Wallet

France-based retail giant Carrefour and French bank BNP Paribas have joined forces to launch Lyf Pay, a new mobile wallet that supports in-store and P2P transactions as well as  loyalty cards, coupons and offers.

Lyf Pay originates from the merging of previous mobile payment technologies—Wa! from BNP Paribas and Fivory from Carrefour. Other participants in Lyf include Mastercard and Credit Mutuel. The Lyf Pay app relies on QR codes, is non-proprietary and can be used on all smartphones starting on May 18, said Carrefour.

“By integrating payment cards, loyalty cards and coupons and displaying news flashes from users’ favorite shops alerting them to available special offers and providing information on their expenditure, this new app goes a long way to creating a highly intimate relationship with the consumers it serves,” the retailer said.

The pending launch of Lyf comes at time of increased activity in the mobile wallet space. For instance, JPMorgan Chase, whose own Chase Pay mobile wallet has been making serious strides, earlier this year acquired the technology that underpins CurrentC, the MCX mobile payment product that never went beyond pilot stage. The MCX consortium, which includes such merchants as Walmart, Target, Kohl’s and Best Buy, planned for its QR-based mobile service to take on Apple Pay and to help members save on interchange.

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