The French lottery operator will now be the leading payment service provider in France.
France.- Group FDJ, owner of the lottery and betting operator Française des Jeux (FDJ), has launched its Nirio payments service with the Confederation of Tobacconists. The service allows customers to pay bills and rent via bars, tobacconists and newsagents. FDJ says it will be France’s leading local payments service.
Some 10,000 FDJ partner merchants will offer the service to customers, with 5,000 having already been approved by the financial watchdog Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR).
Raphaël Botbol, director of strategy, innovation and new activities at FDJ Group, said: “What is important for our group is to put people back at the heart of the payment of daily bills by offering a fast, practical alternative for people who are sometimes far from urban areas or resistant to online payments. Nirio will be able to use the experience and network of FDJ partner merchants.”
The FDJ says that six million French households – 20 per cent of the population – don’t want to pay their bills via direct debit. The idea is that Nirio will allow customers to pay water, gas, electricity and telephone bills as well as rent to social landlords such as Sequens through the sales network.
The platform works via QR codes that a customer presents at a partner merchant. They can then pay via cash or cash after an ID check.
FDJ looks for acquisitions
FDJ has been looking to expand beyond its traditional lottery operation. It entered exclusive negotiations with a view to buy the point-of-sale and payment provider Aleda in July as part of its strategy to develop its payment and services business.
This month, it announced that it has entered exclusive negotiations about a possible acquisition of the online horse racing and sports betting brand ZEturf Group. The acquisition would boost FDJ’s plans to expand its presence in the online gambling market.