Canadian telco-led NFC m-payments service suretap folds

Canadian telco-led NFC m-payments service suretap folds

Canada's suretap has become the latest telco-led mobile wallet venture to go to the wall, with the outfit deciding that it cannot compete in an increasingly crowded field.

The app for the SIM-based NFC payments service has been pulled from the Google Play and Blackberry World Apps stores and will no longer work after 26 August, a notice in the suretap site says.

The suretap app was first launched in 2014 by Rogers but was rebooted last year as a joint venture with Bell, Telus, Koodo and Virgin. Cibc came onboard, letting customers add its credit cards to the wallet, while gift and loyalty cards could also be added.

However, with banks introducing their own options such as Ugo, Apple Pay arriving in the country and Android Pay and Samsung Pay set to follow suit, suretap is throwing in the towel.

Telco-led mobile payments services have not fared well in other markets. American outfit Softcard folded earlier this year, selling off its assets to Google, while British JV Weve gave up before even launching.

Just days ago Semble, a mobile payments JV from some of New Zealand's biggest telcos and banks, said that it is shutting down its wallet app and changing business focus.

Comments: (5)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 18 July, 2016, 12:17Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Good cleansing! Oh and Apple Pay et al are not the reason; soon they (in their current shape and form) will follow suit ...

John BaRoss
John BaRoss - FINCCLUDE Incorporated - Long Valley 18 July, 2016, 16:53Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

More specifically what we see again and again and again is that the "proximity-payment" use case of m-payments/mobile payments is not addressing a market pain point nor marketplace interest.  

In parallel, quietly, the "remote-payment" use case of m-payments/mobile payments continues to become a multi-billion dollar global business ... yet the lions share of media attention continues with proximity payments.

Even in the proximity payment space supported by telco/carriers, there remain quite a few initiatives still trying.  It would be interesting to hear success-news on the following various models and efforts which are understood to have proximity payment capability:

- TCash Tap (Verifone MM, PT. Finnet & Telkomsel) - Indonesia
- MyWallet (Deutsche Telkom) - Germany
- MobileWallet/MobileMoney (Dhiraagu) - Maldives
- Telenor Wallet (Telenor) - Hungary
- Beeline (Tacom) - Tajikistan
- MobileWallet (BSNL) - India
- T SmartPay (SK Telecom) - South Korea
- MobileWallet (Vodaphone & Siminn) - Iceland
- WyWallet (Telenor, 3, Telia, Tele2) - Europe
- Dash (Singtel) - Singapore 
- Tele2Wallet - Estonia
- Jio Money (Reliance Jio) - India  

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 18 July, 2016, 19:07Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Since the time I wrote Banks Have Nothing To Fear From TELCOs three years ago, banks have even less to fear from TELCOs! And, as this article rightly points out, this is not even a country-specific issue - TELCOs efforts at payments have bombed fairly universally.

John BaRoss
John BaRoss - FINCCLUDE Incorporated - Long Valley 18 July, 2016, 19:39Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

To clarify, Telcos (as well as others such as the retail JV: CurrentC) have not succeeded with proximity payments ... nor have the marquee giants.

I agree that banks have nothing to fear from Telco/Carriers but for a different reason.  To say Telco efforts at payments have bombed fairly universally demonstrates a lack of awareness of the big picture of Telcos in the Payment Industry.

Telco/Carriers have been the quiet giant globally at financially including unbanked populations (serving a significant role in helping to reduce the total from ~2.5B to 2.0B per World Bank).  Where have Telco/Carriers been (quietly) hugely successful at payments (beyond "proximity payments")?

- Carrier Operated Mobile Money, now available in almost 80 countries and a global business of >$2B.
- Direct Carrier Billing, now available in about 120 countries and a global business of >$12B, projected to grow to ~$25B in the next few years.

The next wave of innovation in payments has almost 3 dozen areas where Telco/Carriers are quietly pioneering.  Here are a few examples:
- Central Bank licensed Telco/Carrier providers of financial services are coming:
  * 4 of the 8 remaining Payments Banks in India involve Telco/Carriers
  * 2 of 4 Super Agents in Nigeria are Telco/Carriers
  * Myanmar just recently licensed a Telco/Carrier to provide Mobile Financial Services
  * Mobile banking services are being provided by Telco/Carriers in at least France & Poland (Orange), Germany (Telefonica), Serbia (Telenor Banka) & South Korea (KDDI JV w/Jiban)
  * South Korea's Financial Services Commission licensed Telco/Carrier KT Corp to be an Internet Bank
  * In Pakistan, Telco/Carrier Telenor is in a JV with Tameer for microfinance
  * In Bangladesh, India & Kenya, Telco/Carriers are providing insurance (micro, agriculture/farming, hospitalization insurance)
  * In Côte d’Ivoire a Telco/Carrier support crowd funding

The list goes on of visionary, innovative, courageous Telco/Carriers that are trying to address unaddressed financial service needs not being met by traditional providers.  Threat to banking?  No as banking is not serving these areas (primarily rural communities, poor communities) ... yet again, proximity payments get the lions share of media attention.  

Paul Vieros
Paul Vieros - Real ID - Melbourne 19 July, 2016, 02:31Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

With all stakeholders wanting to monitize their offering, there are so many pieces to that pie to go ariound!  Inevitably the 'unholly' alliance of Telco and Bank just does not seem to work with any 'wallet' offering!