French major banks BNP Paribas and Crédit Mutuel have announced to merge two electronic wallets - Wa! and Fivory -backed by them.

While the mobile payment service Wa! is developed by BNP Paribas and Carrefour, Fivory is backed by Crédit Mutuel, Auchan, Mastercard, Oney and Total.

The new initiative is aimed at accelerating the development of an ecosystem of top-rank players in this field by building on the achievements of the two separate projects so far.

BNP Paribas Group CEO Jean-Laurent Bonnafé said: “This constitutes a new phase for our initiative. We’re seeing growing interest in the market for such a solution and it’s now vital that the complementary players work together to build and make available a solution able to meet new customer expectations in this changing world.”

The new unified app will enable the customer to pay for both in-store and on the Internet purchases with just a single movement.

It will also enable customers to make use of new mobile payment services, including peer to peer money transfers and an invoice settlement facility.

Crédit Mutuel chairman Nicolas Théry said: “In forging this agreement we’re pooling our expertise in order to respond to the changes in consumer behaviour, propelled by the ubiquitous use of smartphones.

“Together we’re taking a major step towards widespread use of mobile payments and the consequent enhancement of the customer relationship.”

The new is expected to meet customer needs for simplicity, convenience and personalisation while maintaining a high level of security and data protection.

The partners plan to release a new brand name for the service by the end of the year.

The new app is expected to be available in early 2017.

Image: French banks BNP Paribas, Crédit Mutuel to offer a unified mobile payment app. Photo courtesy of BNP Paribas.