The European Commission has given UK wireless operators Vodafone, O2, and Everything Everywhere the green light for Project Oscar, their mobile payments joint venture.
Not sure I'm wildy enthusiastic about having my wallet and transactional information stored on the SIM, even if the SIM security is enhanced, it is still an unneccessary risk.
Not sure why the MNO consortium has chosen to rent space on the SIM card and, as Google Wallet found out to its dismay, risk limited adoption by consumers. On the other hand, even when GW moved to the cloud recently to enable consumers to add any card of
their choice as the funding mechanism, the need to store one card on the phone hasn't gone away. As we've seen
here, this card can't be a credit card earning much higher interchange fees for Google. Makes me wonder if NFC - as against QR code - based mobile wallets face certain fundamental technology / business model constraints viz. (a) Force the payment service
provider to store at least one card inside the phone, and (b) Not permit consumers to add their preferred cards to the phone in the non-cloud implementation.
Isn't 'green light' a bit strong? This is not a formal 'negative clearance' as could be obtained in the 1990s. All it means is that the EC decided not to further pursue any lines of enquiry connected with the proposition that has been put on the table. They
are at liberty to take it up again if the implemented version is different from the blueprint version. As well, anyone can file suit in a Member State court-of-law if they think Project Oscar is behaving in an anti-competitive manner in future.
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© Finextra Research 2014