EC gives green light to CaixaBank, Santander and Telefónica digital wallet

EC gives green light to CaixaBank, Santander and Telefónica digital wallet

The European Commission has given the go-ahead to plans by CaixaBank, Santander and Telefónica to set up a joint venture offering digital services, including a mobile wallet.

Having investigated whether the planned venture raised competition concerns, the EC has concluded that there are already several competing digital wallet providers in Spain, with more in the pipeline.

The Commission also looked into the wallet's planned peer-to-peer payment functionality, funded through a virtual pre-paid card issued by one of the two banks.

The EC has decided that "there are sufficient credible alternative issuers of payments cards in Spain, therefore allowing competing digital wallet providers to continue offering peer-to-peer payments services either on a stand-alone basis or by partnering with financial institutions".

Finally, although users will need to connect via a mobile or static Internet connection in order to access the wallet, the Commission found that Telefónica would not have the technical ability to block the access of competing providers on its networks.

Last year, the EC also gave UK wireless operators Vodafone, O2, and Everything Everywhere the green light for their mobile payments joint venture.

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