A Twitter Inc. account and a bank card is all you'll need in France to tweet money to a friend or a charity. The transfers will be based on a simple rule: no retweets.

Groupe BPCE, France's second-largest bank by branches, is unveiling today its new offer to provide "easy, rapid, secure and free of charge" money transfers through Twitter accounts, betting hashtag payments can help boost its basis of e-users, Nicolas Chatillon, head the Paris-based bank's e-payment unit S- Money, said in an interview.

"Naturally retweets are blocked" for security reasons and payments will happen in "a language familiar on the tweets," that will generate on smartphones a proprietary S-Money verification, Chatillon said. "It is free of charge and it will remain so for individuals, while today the corporate side is under construction."

BPCE's unit, which isn't in a partnership with San Francisco-based Twitter, is offering tweet payments mostly for crowdfunding, charity fundraising and also pooled payments like gifts for friends, Chatillon said. To start with, payments will be made through visible tweets and money transfers may also be possible through direct messaging, he said.

Apple Inc. introduced an iPhone in September with a mobile-wallet feature that allows in-store payments from a touch screen. EBay Inc. is spinning off its PayPal division to better fend off competition from Apple and Google Inc. as consumers step up the use of smartphones and computers to pay for goods and services.

BPCE's S-Money currently provides e-wallet services to about 100,000 French users and plans to climb to 1 million. French state-owned university-services operators Crous, which cater to about 1.6 million students, picked BPCE's unit in July to manage e-payments like restaurant meals, Chatillon said.

BPCE operates 8,000 branches and serves more than 36 million clients. It also owns a majority stake in Natixis SA, a corporate-and-investment banking and asset-management business.

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