Peer-2-peer payments between individuals via Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp made possible in Belgium by Pengo!

Jonathan from Belfius Bank & Insurance
02 Feb 2017

On 2 February 2018, Belfius is launching a first on the Belgian market, payment requests between individuals via the messaging platforms Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. This entirely new service has been developed by The Studio, a Belfius subsidiary dedicated to digital innovation. Pengo is available in the Belfius Mobile app and also directly accessible from Facebook Messenger to all users of the platform with a Belgian current account, whether or not they are Belfius customers.

You have advanced money to purchase a joint gift for a loved one? Or you want to split the restaurant bill from last week between friends? You no longer need to write down or send your account number or the amount to be refunded. The entirely new Pengo service, developed by The Studio, a subsidiary of Belfius Bank and Insurance, allows you to generate a payment request and share it with your friends directly via your favourite messaging service, sms, e-mail,… This as a first in Belgium!

Directly accessible in Facebook Messenger or via the Belfius Mobile app

Integrated in Facebook Messenger, Pengo is accessible to any adult holder of a current account with a Belgian bank. This new function enables a payment request to be initiated and sent, with just one click, to various contacts listed in Messenger and WhatsApp.

Pengo also facilitates the payment of the amount requested : those chosen from the list of contacts instantaneously receive a payment request via their preferred messaging service and can then confirm the payment with their password in their Belfius Mobile app or via the Bancontact app, whether or not it is integrated whithin their banking app. The payment transaction itself is executed by the bank of the person who confirms the payment, thus guaranteeing the same level of security and confidentiality as for any other bank transaction.

Also available in the Belfius Mobile app

In order to respond to the ever changing customer behaviour in an increasingly mobile world Belfius has also integrated Pengo directly in the Belfius Mobile app. This new function within the app enables customers to generate a payment request either directly from the start screen via the ‘receive money’ button or from any given transaction in the account or credit card history. They can send their payment requests simultaneously to several people and so for instance split their last restaurant bill among friends.

Recipients of the payment request receive a message in Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp or via e-mail or text message. Next they can then use a link to confirm the payment with their personal password in their banking app. As with Pengo in Facebook Messenger, the payment transaction itself is executed by the bank of the person who confirms the payment, and not by the social network. Pengo combines the virality of social networks with the security of banking applications.

The Studio: Belfius’ digital innovation laboratory and creator of startups

According to estimates[1], nine Belgians out of ten are active on social media. Customers now expect to be able to access an entire range of new services and functions, particularly in the field of e-shopping and payments, directly from their messaging platforms. It is in order to meet their expectations that The Studio has developed Pengo, thus confirming both Belfius’ leadership in Mobile Banking as its ambitions in digital innovation.

Structured as a startup, the objective of The Studio is to boost digital innovation by accelerating the development and commercialisation of innovative solutions, both in Belgium and internationally. Its “innovation lab” aims to stimulate the emergence of innovative ideas and insure rapid implementation with short development cycles. Pengo is one of these innovative ideas that emerged from the “innovation lab”. It was designed and developed with the intention of being intergrated into Facebook Messenger and Belfius Mobile.

In addition to the launch of Pengo, The Studio has already created two startups: BrightKnight, active in Robotic Process Automatisation, and Spencr, which markets mobile banking applications internationally.

For more information, please contact:
Belfius Bank & Insurance

Pachecolaan 44
1000 Brussels

Category: Mobile Payments
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