Italian financial and public services technology provider SIA launched two new apps and a shopping card alongside announcing results of a consumer survey on digital services at its annual expo in Milan.
The P2P money transfer service, Jiffy is a What’s App style service allowing payments to be made in real time.
Customers of any bank signed up to the service to send money to any other person in Europe, in real time. SIA said it has most of the major Italian banks signed up, representing a 60% market share.
"Jiffy is the only real time interbank tool in the whole of Europe," Massimo Arrighetti, SIA CEO, said.
"The name was either going to be Jiffy or Snap, but we went with Jiffy," he added.
Jiffy is not a word used in Italian as it is in English but it comes from a scientific term for a unit of measurement corresponding to the time taken for light to travel one centimetre.
The system uses the person’s IBAN code of the account and current account holders can just log in using their usual banking log in.
The banks are currently looking to extend the service to include international payments beyond Europe.
A nationwide transport payment app, currently rolled out in Napoli, Bologna and Ravena and soon to be extended across the country, corresponds to each city’s transport payment infrastructure, allowing users to pay with one card across each city’s transport network. For those who live in London, it’s like Oyster rolled out country-wide.
The survey asked Italians on perceptions and attitudes of Italians towards digital payments.
It found 65% of Italians believe that electronic payments should guarantee greater security; user-friendliness was important for just 25% of respondents.
A mere 36% of the sample knew that by 31 December 2015, local and central public administration bodies must permit electronic payments.
"We have heavy and low users and it’s not a question of age or geographical location, it’s people versus innovation. Heavy users appreciate the value and advantage and have proved there is no risk. Low users are scared of risk- control and spending. So a lot to do in terms of communication. We have all we need in terms of technology and infrastructure," Nicola Cordone, senior VP, SIA said.
"Services like Jiffy will definitely help improve adoption of digital in this country; when something is this easy to use, every little helps," Arrighetti said.