Operator group Portugal Telecom has taken a step towards facilitating mobile payments after signing a partnership with m-commerce solutions provider Powa. The partnership aims to bring mobile payment services to small businesses and the SOHO segment in Portugal, Brazil and markets in Africa.
A bank in Indonesia has developed the first mobile payments service for Canadian handset maker BlackBerry’s Messenger service (BBM). PermataBank has teamed up with British mobile banking solutions provider Monitise to roll out a commercial pilot of BBM Money in the country ahead of a full launch.
Commerzbank has adopted a visual transaction signing tool from UK security firm Cronto for its online banking customers, designed to protect against Trojan malware.
UK operator Vodafone has added its opted-in subscribers to advertising and commerce joint venture Weve, joining rivals EE and O2. With the addition of one million Vodafone subscriber details, Weve now has a database of more than 15 million UK subscribers.
Internet browser developer Opera Software has teamed up with mobile commerce firm Neomobile to bring m-payment services to users of Opera Mobile.
UK banks are still in “a difficult place” as they face economic uncertainty, increased cost and competitive pressures, complex regulations and rapid technological changes – but the changes that are happening in the payments industry offer scope for them to reclaim the initiative and deploy innovative solutions.
Whilst UK mobile operators have yet to fully unveil their plans for a mobile wallet joint venture, dubbed Project Oscar (Weve), the UK’s Payments Council has been quietly working with leading banks and payment networks to roll out a nationwide mobile payments service next year in which the operators appear to have zero input.
Mobile operators preparing mobile wallet offerings will face potentially stiff competition from financial institutions, after UK quango the Payments Council announced plans to launch an industry-wide mobile payment service.
The banking industry, integral to our commercial and personal lives, has always evolved with the times to embrace new challenges and consumer attitudes. Technology plays an obvious and increasingly important role in this evolution, writes Clayton Locke, chief technology officer at Intelligent Environments.
As uptake of mobile banking services is predicted to reach one billion by 2017, banks are starting to view the mobile channel as an indispensable revenue stream, according to Nitin Bhas, senior analyst at telecoms research firm Juniper Research.
NFC technology advocates face continued disappointment in 2013 as it is likely to be overshadowed by other developments in retail payments, according to a report by financial research firm Celent.
ATM maker Diebold has developed an ATM that lets customers withdraw cash without using a card – and saves the bank money in the process.
Canada’s CIBC bank has launched a novel promotion aimed at increasing uptake of NFC technology for mobile payments.
Banks must learn to use information services to provide value to their customers if they are to avoid falling victim to competition, according to a report by consultancy Ctrl-Shift.
Intent on making the prevalence of near-field communications (NFC) a reality, Orange and China Mobile have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU). The two operators are aiming to accelerate the commercialisation of mobile contactless services and said they will adopt internationally recognised standards for embedding the secure technical protocols directly into the SIM-card.
The home of the world’s largest telecoms event is aiming to stimulate the adoption of contactless mobile payments after Catalan bank la Caixa announced it will roll out a contactless payment system in Barcelona, based on TAP Visa stickers for mobile devices. The bank forecasts that 200,000 customers will be using the system by February, when the Mobile World Congress 2013 will be held.
Mobile and NFC payment technologies have been on the rise in recent years. But with many merchants and retail outlets still reluctant to invest in the new technologies, and with the rise of fraud in existing solutions, industry participants are divided over how and whether the technology will ever gain widespread acceptance in developed markets.
Already staking a claim to be the one of the most effective mobile money success stories to have graced the telecoms industry, Kenya’s M-Pesa service has now been extended to allow consumers access to interest-bearing saving accounts and the ability to take out small loans.
Mainstream adoption of bank-led mobile payments services and the results of investment in removing siloed channels will see retail banks start to redress the balance between the opposing pressures of cost reduction and the need to invest in innovation in the coming year.
The African subsidiary of Indian operator group Bharti Airtel has extended its mobile money transfer service across the 17 African markets it operates in. Airtel Africa’s subscribers will be able to send and receive money transfers over the operator’s network, which will be connected to a community of mobile network operators, and money transfer organisations, through the HomeSend hub.