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Twitter payment system debuts in France

PARIS -- Did someone spot you money for lunch two weeks ago? In France, Twitter users can now publicly repay debts, donate to charity or chip in for a gift with a new payment service backed by the country's second-largest banking service.

Group BPCE, which includes Banque Populaire and Caisses d'Epargne, announced the service - called S-money - on Tuesday.

Users tweet a payment request to S-money, which then requires an authentication code before sending the amount - and a tweet to the destination confirming the payment for all the world to see.

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"We think that this is quite interesting for the Twitter user to be able to communicate the financial transactions that he has made," said Armand Dos Santos, chief technical officer for S-money.

The service only works between people who have French bank cards and cell phone numbers, in a country that prizes discretion for personal spending. Transactions are limited to 250 euros when paying a Twitter user and 500 euros when sending money to charities or crowd-funding.

"It happens to everybody ... you don't have cash to pay a babysitter. If she has an S-money account, it will be easy to exchange with her and pay her with a simple tweet," said Olivier Gonzalez, CEO of Twitter France.

Only, that is, if you and the babysitter want everyone to know the going rate.

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