“Bluecode has the goal of developing a mobile payment system for Europe that benefits all stakeholders. This is something that the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the Deutsche Bundesbank and many other organizations have been calling for”, says Christian Pirkner, CEO of Blue Code International AG, and continues: “We are excited to have the Hopp Family Office joining our mission. Their newest investment is a strong signal for a pro-European movement and opens many doors to further advance the partnership between Bluecode and the banking and commerce sectors.” In addition to the Hopp Family Office, Bluecode’s existing long term capital investors, who are all well-known European business and financing figures, are participating in the current investment round.
Hopp Family Office as lead investor
The Hopp Family Office and Bluecode have been working together for a while. At the SAP Arena, fans of the eight-time German ice hockey champion, Adler Mannheim, can pay cashless thanks to Bluecode. The SAP checkout software (Customer Checkout solution) for the sports and entertainment industry used in the stadium offers Bluecode by default. “For us, the importance of supporting the European payment sector is very obvious”, says Daniel Hopp. “It is not sufficient to constantly be talking about the threat that non-European payment providers pose. We have to actively develop viable alternatives. Bluecode does not only make certain that value created in Europe stays in Europe; Bluecode also makes it possible to implement privacy standards within the mobile payment sector that comply with Europe’s understanding of data protection.”
Growth capital to expand the ecosystem and improve payment technology
Bluecode will use the capital for the expansion of its value-added mobile payment ecosystem in Austria and Germany. Additionally, the company will strengthen its offering as technology partner for the European banking and commerce sectors. Consumers will be able to make contactless payments via Bluecode at even more points of acceptance at retailers, restaurants and bars as well as hotels. Even if the payment exceeds the 50 Euro limit for contactless transactions, users are neither required to touch a payment terminal nor to enter a PIN code.
Furthermore, appealing value-added services such as linking customer loyalty cards with the mobile payment transaction enable a superior experience when compared to cash or cards. “Users can collect and benefit from their loyalty bonuses and make contactless payments with a single scan of the blue barcode, thanks to the quick and convenient One Scan Checkout made possible by Bluecode”, says Pirkner. To this end, the company is cooperating closely with banks and local retailers in order to integrate the mobile payment capability into their cash register systems and apps.
The main advantage Bluecode’s bank and commerce partners benefit from is that they are able to keep the customer journey within their own apps, leaving that important point of customer interaction with Bluecode partners. Last year, more than 300 Austrian financial institutions joined the European payment network by Bluecode. Recently, new retail and technology partners such as Unser Ö-Bonus Club GmbH, Huawei in Austria and Germany, and Germany’s largest drugstore chain, Rossmann, have become part of the Bluecode ecosystem. In addition to brick-and-mortar retail, the company is pushing to expand its payment technology into the realm of e-commerce and m-commerce.
Mobile payment by European rules
The basis is the “European Payment Scheme”, a technical and legal framework for a European mobile payment solution that has been developed by Bluecode over the last years. It determines how mobile transactions between banks, retailers, app providers and consumers are handled in accordance with the strict European data protection rules. “It is important to us that the conditions that underlie our partnerships are transparent and consistent. Our policies are characterized by stable cost structures, transparency, and attractive terms for retailers and banks alike. Our fair business model makes sure that all parties involved – the customer’s and retailer’s banks as well as the app provider – get their fair share of the fees”, concludes Pirkner. The goal: Keeping data streams and value creation in Europe. The establishment of European payment alternatives is essential if Europe wants to be a leading power in the digital economy.