Increasingly the answer is “when it’s a telephone company”. Last week’s news that Canadian telco Rogers had filed for a banking licence was just the latest example of the competition between banking and mobile telephony.
Rogers, which controls 36% of the Canadian mobile markets, has filed with the Canadian federal government to open a bank, and the company is already rumoured to be working with Visa and TD Bank to develop its own NFC-based mobile wallet.
The Finextra story stated: “As a bank, the carrier would be better positioned to stake its own claim to the transaction processing revenues and share of float generated by such a venture, wooing customers with promises of discounts on their monthly phone
Who will ultimately win in this market depends on a complex mix of brand, technology and customer service. And if, as expected, payments become increasingly mobile-based, the organisations providing the hardware and the technology could be better placed
than traditional banks to benefit.
Consumers tend to have a good relationship with their mobile phone provider whilst many banks are rebuilding their brands four years into the financial crisis –
A potential spanner in the works is security, or a perceived lack of it. The UK’s newspaper hacking scandals have made mobile telephone security a contradiction in terms to many people. Mobile companies will need to show they can deliver on security, or
they may find it harder than they imagine to break the banks’ tight hold on payments.