Apple is facing a new competitor in the mobile wallet market, thanks to a joint venture between two Swiss companies, reports said on Monday (Sept. 5).
The merger between payments tech firms TWINT Ltd. and Paymit has the companies working on their own mobile wallet technology slated for launch early next year. Their solution will have a leg-up on the competition, reports added, with government entities and financial institutions already working with the companies.
TWINT is a subsidiary of PostFinance, Swiss Post’s financial services arm. Paymit, meanwhile, was born out of the SIX Group, a collaboration between 130 banks that operates the nation’s financial infrastructure.
The two companies announced their merger in May, reports said, though it will still need regulatory approval to move forward. News of the impending launch of the mobile wallet tool follows reports from earlier this year about a possible collaboration between SIX and top retailers, like Swisscom and Migros, to develop a mobile payments platform.
Their mobile wallet joint venture will aim to replace cash for consumers, said reports, and is likely to only operate within Swiss borders.
“While this may seem paradoxical, because we think that the digital world is international by nature, phone applications that work best are those that have strong local roots,” said SIX CEO Urs Rüegsegger in an interview with local media.
He emphasized that cross-border mobile wallet solutions must adhere to stringent security standards that make the solution more expensive.
“The digital payments industry has high security standards,” the executive continued. “And to ensure such standards, payment terminals must be technically very advanced. This is why they are expensive.”
Rüegsegger added that the mobile wallet solution will also allow merchants to add additional solutions to the technology, including back-office features, like accounting, or consumer-facing tools, like loyalty programs.
Apple’s mobile wallet, Apple Pay, launched in Switzerland last July, marking the second European nation for the product after its expansion into the U.K.