As early as March 2016, it became concrete that the main competitors in mobile payments have decided to take a common path instead of fighting each other (Werbewoche.ch reported). For good reason: If Apple enters the Swiss market with Apple Pay, the competition will have to be strong in order to survive. This is likely to be difficult with various individual solutions - a uniform Swiss solution is required.
As the Sonntagszeitung writes in its current edition, the negotiations are apparently close to a breakthrough. According to circles familiar with the negotiations, the parties have reached agreement on important points and found technical solutions. Now it is a matter of defining the organisational structure behind the joint app.
On the one hand, the retail trade is particularly interested in a joint solution. They are afraid of the effort involved in having different systems. On the other hand, the banks are exerting pressure, want to standardize the system - and be involved in the solution. According to insiders, Postfinance will now have to give in. The company, which recently joined the Swiss Bankers Association, currently has the most advanced proprietary solution with Twint. Twint can already be used to pay at Coop, for example, while the rival product Paymit is only in a trial phase.
It is possible that Postfinance will be cooperative and give up its lead in favour of a joint solution. According to the Sonntagszeitung, Swiss Post managers are exerting pressure behind the scenes because they want permission to grant loans. This is forbidden for Swiss Post today, but makes life difficult for it in times of negative interest rates. That's why they probably don't want to gamble away any goodwill on the app issue. (hae/SoZ)