The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

Posts Tagged ‘telcoms

Bell, Rogers, Telus to launch mobile payment service | Canada


Canadian Telco’s beat the banks out with the first serious country wide example of mobile payments in Canada, and frankly one of few in the world.  This is just one more example of disaggregated financial services, that cip away parts of what was previously banks’ territory.

The use of NFC technology is also worth noting here.  NFC (Near Field Communications) permits wireless data transfer over distances up to 10 cm.  This is designed to eliminate accidentally purchasing Dave Birch’s coffee for him.

In all seriousness while this has been a long time coming, my sense has always been that the telco’s would be front and centre in the payments business.  The 3.5% fee they are charging is essentially money for next to nothing to them in terms of revenue vs outlay.  They already have the riht deveice in the hands of consumers so they are off to the races.

Bell, Rogers, Telus to launch mobile payment service

The venture is the first tentative step toward a true mobile wallet, where phones equipped with the NFC chips themselves could be used in everyday transactions. Such phones are already in use in countries like South Korea and Japan, but have yet to come to North America except in trials.

Robin Dua, president of Enstream, said he hopes the service’s use of the NFC-enabled cards will pave the way for future adoption of NFC chip-enabled phones.

The software will work on most smartphones, including many of Research in Motion’s BlackBerrys. An iPhone application is also in the works he said.

Written by Colin Henderson

June 14, 2009 at 20:20

Posted in Payments

Tagged with , , , ,

The endgame for banks – sloggers or innovators


We quickly forget about previous crashes, but over the period 1997 – 2003, $2.8 trillion in market value was wiped out from the telcoms as they experienced their own bubble through the dot.com times.  The Economist points out there are lessons for banks and for banking regulators too I would say.

Their conclusion is consistent with my view that there will be some innovative winners such as O2 that are able to re-energise with innovative measures, marketing and services.  However many will as the article say, slog along “against competitors and reinvigorated regulators”.  I have gone further and supported the idea that the inevitable nationalization of the sloggers, will result is a set of financial utilities, more akin to electricity and water providers to your home.

Lessons from the telecoms bubble (1) | Economist

Ideally, this revolution can be extended to reinventing brands and business models. But a depressing precedent has been set by incumbent telecoms firms, which, like most banks, are stodgy bureaucracies at heart. Despite endless product launches and reorganisations, perhaps only two firms, KPN (see article) and O2 (subsequently bought by Telefónica) were transformed by innovative managers. For most others, the decade since the bubble has been a slog against competitors and reinvigorated regulators. That is the lot of most firms in most industries. They face a constant battle to protect pockets of high profits and have few chances to grow. For telecoms, the glamour and infamy were followed by mediocrity. Banks are still staggering about in the limelight, but the same fate surely awaits them.

The other observation of note in the article is that all the senior management at the telcoms were replaced.

Written by Colin Henderson

February 27, 2009 at 11:30

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

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