Canadian carriers offload Zoompass joint venture

Canadian carriers offload Zoompass joint venture

EnStream, the Canadian mobile-commerce joint venture created by Bell, Rogers and Telus, has offloaded its Zoompass mobile money service to pre-paid and virtual card management outfit Paymobile.

Launched in 2009, Zoompass is a mobile-based, stored-value payment service with a companion contactless payment card linked to the same account. Available through Apple iTunes, Google Play and Blackberry app stores, Zoompass enables person-to-person money transfers and online transactions, while the companion card allows cash withdrawals and transactions at retail locations that accept card based payments.

Explaining the sale, Enstream chief operating officer Almis Ledas says Zoompass has outlived its usefulness to the carrier partners.

"As the mobile commerce ecosystem has evolved, EnStream's focus has shifted to enabling established credential issuers and carriers to leverage the potential of NFC (near field communication) in mobile handsets," he says. "The operation of a payment service is no longer required for us to fulfill our mandate."

Each of the three wireless operators under the Enstream umbrella have been negotiating their own deals with the nation's biggest banks in an effort to introduce NFC-based mobile payments. Rogers, for example, applied for its own banking license in 2011 and has since struck a deal with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Their 'suretap' service is expected to be made available on Blackberry handsets any day soon.

Paymobile, which provides programme management services for a wide range of open loop prepaid and virtual card programmes, is expected to offer the Zoompass platform as a white-labelled mobile commerce app for businesses.

Gino Porco, chief executive officer of Paymobile, says: "Paymobile offers the tools to help Zoompass realise its full potential, and we are pleased to add it to the payment services we offer our customers. The scalability of Zoompass will allow us to expand our mobile wallet platform into numerous new countries."

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