NFC payments hotting up in Canada as Rogers wants to start a BankFeature
Posted by Seth PlanckSeptember 07th, 2011 at 11:16 PM Filed Under Latest News
Rogers Communications wants to start a bank which could take NFC payments mainstream in Canada
The owner of Canada’s largest wireless telephone service provider has told the federal finance department that it will apply to become a financial institution called Rogers Bank, to be headquartered in Toronto.
“Would you like that deposited in your account or paid off your mobile bill?” could be a perfectly normal question for a Rogers customer to be asked if the communications company gets its way and is able to start Rogers Bank. We reported a couple of weeks ago that Rogers is looking to deploy NFC payments on its network and could be collaborating with TD to do so. Since then we have seen that Rogers will get the NFC Samsung Galaxy S II on its network this fall, and now the company has come forward to confirm some of the banking rumors which have been rife.
Rogers Bank could take NFC payments and NFC mobile wallets to critical mass in Canada
The Canadian Press reported that a Rogers spokesperson said in an emailed statement that there was no plans in becoming a full service deposit-taking bank.
“We routinely explore opportunities to strengthen our position as a leader and innovator in the communications industry,” Rogers spokeswoman, Carly Suppa, stated. ”The licence, if granted, would give us the flexibility to pursue a niche credit card opportunity to our customers should this make sense at a future date,” Suppa added.
This move would no doubt emulate the Citi GCard that Google is set to offer with its NFC Google Wallet offering. This sentiment was echoed by Iain Grant of the technology market research firm, SeaBoard, who speculated that this move to set up Roger Bank could be the company positioning itself to become a leader in mobile NFC money transfers. A full NFC mobile wallet where Rogers would control all aspects from the credit card, act as the trusted services manager and the mobile carrier would give Rogers a dominating position if consumers felt comfortable with their MNO having that much power over their finances.
“The next big thing in mobile is money transfer, whether that’s me paying for a subway pass or a parking meter, or me sending you money or me sending money back home. Money transfer is where the cellphone companies stand to make their next trillion dollars,” Grant said.
The order to create Rogers Bank would need to proceed through the Bank Act’s normal application and review process and be approved by the Canadian Minister of Finance. Suppa said the approvals process could take more than a year and that makes us wonder whether Google Wallet or a competing product will be supported in the meantime to allow Canadians to benefit from NFC mobile wallets this year. Anyone objecting to Rogers entering the banking business may submit an objection in writing to the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions before Oct. 24. Rogers may find that it receives objections from consumer rights groups and other groups with vested interests in NFC mobile wallets.