Rogers, Telus and Bell to Launch EnStream ‘Mobile Wallet’ Within Six Months

Canada’s ‘Big 3’ carriers are set to launch a ‘mobile wallet’ in the next six months, according to a report from Reuters. The business team at Rogers confirmed a launch within the next six months (note: last September Rogers applied to become a ‘bank’ to ready themselves for a future payment solution):

“In Canada, we are more ready than probably any country in the world,” said David Robinson, who heads the emerging business team at Rogers Communications Inc., the country’s largest wireless provider. He expects to launch a “mobile wallet” within six months.

According to the report, Canada leads the globe in mobile contact-less readers per capita with 12-15% of retail outlets already having them installed, notes Almis Ledas, the COO of EnStream. The company is a joint venture between Canada’s ‘Big 3’ carriers. They plan to launch a system to connect with Canada’s big banks this summer, according to sources:

Several people involved in negotiations between the telecom companies and the banks say Rogers and Canada’s two other major carriers – BCE Inc’s Bell Canada and Telus Corp – are in the final stages of talks.

EnStream has already launched a mobile payment solution called Zoompass, which allows for money transfers via Interac, Western Union, and the option of a prepaid Zoompass MasterCard. Early feedback by users in iTunes has rated the Zoompass app as “a waste of time” and “a complete failure”.

The only concern with a digital wallet would be to convince consumers to adopt using their phones as payment systems. Most likely, carriers would attempt to entice users by piggybacking off loyalty programs offered by banks and other payment institutions.

There has been endless speculation of an NFC-enabled iPhone upcoming to compete with the likes of Google Wallet.

Canada clearly has digital payment solutions in mind. Earlier in April, the Royal Canadian Mint invited developers to come up with a digital payment solution for their MintChip technology. It was reported in March Canada’s ‘Big 5’ banks are already racing to release ‘photo-chequing’ capabilities from the iPhone.

Would you be keen on using your iPhone as your wallet?

[via The Globe and Mail]

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