Until now, during a transaction, customers of the two banks could pay in installments at partner merchants. On its site, Ma French Bank details the conditions of use: “payment in installments is possible with your card but is subject to a query of your account balance. Depending on the merchants, a check can be made on the amount of the first installment or on the entire amount”.
For customers, however, this does not mean the end of this very fashionable purchase facilitation. The banking establishment broke its relationship with Alma, which dates back only nine months, to choose to ally with another startup called Pledg. The reasons ? Differing perspectives between the two companies, which highlights the war of data and fintech in the sector against the interests of banks.
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1.4 million customers affected
Alma is losing a major client, which has both 1 million current accounts at Banque Postale and 425,000 at Ma French Bank. But to continue to operate with them, the startup required to stay at the commercial forefront and obtain customer data.
Like its Swedish competitor Klarna, white label products are not paramount for Alma. The French startup wants to develop its brand without intermediaries with consumers and forge links with merchants. Klarna has done the same with a marketplace on its app, and during an in-store split payment, customers can choose to log in with their Klarna account rather than using their bank card.
Conversely, Pledg bases its strategy on a 100% white label posture, seeking only to offer its products to banking establishments without putting itself forward. “Payment data, explained the founder of Pledg to Les Echos, are entrusted to us only to allow us to do the necessary scoring of consumers”.
Why is split payment so important?
Without an internal solution, or in white label, the establishments “will be short-circuited by the new entrants”, explained the boss of the Banque Postale, still in the economic daily. Klarna has actually exceeded one million customers in France, 100 million in all of its markets and weighs 45 billion dollars.
The Ma French Bank mobile bank, for example, is on the rise. It amassed 145,000 additional customers in 2021, to reach the figure of 425,000. By 2025, with its accessible banking offers and its support in physical branches (where traditional banks close their branches), the establishment aims for 1 .3 million accounts.