EnStream, the mobile commerce joint venture between Canada’s three leading mobile operators, has sold its Zoompass mobile wallet, a move it hopes will remove an obstacle to closer co-operation with the country’s banks.
Zoompass has been acquired by Paymobile, a financial services technology firm. Meanwhile Enstream will continue the development of an NFC-based mobile payments solution for operators and banks, which has become more the focus of its efforts.
The Zoompass account, which was launched in 2009, enables customers to send and receive money and make online tranasactions via a Zoompass MasterCard prepaid card on their phones, which effectively competes against bank cards.
In addition, Zoompass has trialled a contactless sticker which subscribers attach to their handset so that they can mobile payments in retail outlets.
The three operators behind Enstream are Rogers, BCE and Telus.
Canada’s operators and banks have moved closer to one another in launching the country’s first NFC-based services. There have been reports that an NFC launch by Rogers and local bank CIBC is imminent. Under this more cooperative approach, the operator’s subscribers will make payments via an NFC smartphone using a CIBC credit card.
Likewise rivals Telus and BCE are also thought to be developing services with banks.
Mind you, it’s possible mobile operators might still want to find other means to exert pressure on banks to extract better terms from the relationship. Rogers for instance applied for a banking licence in late 2011, even before it struck an agreement with CIBC.