Nickel, the service by which BNP Paribas Fortis wants to offer a number of essential banking services in newsagents, is ready to go. “By the end of this year, we aim to have 500 to 600 independent newspaper sellers as partners, and 1,400 by 2025,” Emmanuel Legras, CEO of Nickel in Belgium, told the Belga news agency on Friday.
In a few weeks – presumably in June – it will be possible in the early newspaper sellers to open a bank account, get a bank card, deposit or withdraw. The service is currently being tested internally.
Legras says Nickel has secured approval from the Belgian National Bank. There is an agreement with independent newspaper dealers’ associations, such as Perstablo and Prodipresse.
The latter was confirmed to Belga by Perstablo president Yannick Gyssens. “We have entered into collaboration agreements with Nickel that set out terms of service for newsstands, so that they are the same for everyone,” says Gyssens. For example, newspaper merchants will be paid on commission.
Chairman Perstablo sees Nickel as an opportunity for newspaper sellers to diversify their offering, at a time when many newspaper sellers are struggling due to, for example, structurally declining print sales. But, says Gyssens, each merchant has to decide for himself whether he wants to provide the service or not.
“The service was well received by the newspaper merchants,” says Nickel’s Belgium CEO. “The goal is to have 500 to 600 independent newspaper merchants as partners by the end of 2022 and 1,400 by 2025, or one point of sale per 10,000 residents.”
Nickel, a subsidiary of BNP Paribas (the parent company of BNP Paribas Fortis), is already located in France and Spain. More than a month ago in France, BNP Paribas Fortis stated that 2.4 million customers are already dealing with them.
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