“We need to own the market space and prevent market differentiation before any other party enters the market with enough money,” says Peter Van Leeuwen of KPN, a partner in the Dutch NFC joint venture that includes both banks and mobile operators.
Both banks and mobile network operators are at risk of seeing their NFC roles reduced to simply providing low value ‘bit pipes’, Peter Van Leeuwen, strategy and business development manager for Dutch mobile network operator KPN, has told delegates attending the GSMA’s Mobile Money Summit in Singapore.
“Banks may become the ‘bit pipe’ of the financial industry,” he explained. “Banks need to accept that mobile is the new form of communication with consumers.”
“Threats for the operator world are social networks, VoIP and internet messaging, and handset manufacturers,” he added. “The worst case vision is for us to become the ‘bit pipe’ of the communications industry. We need to change. So it makes sense to work together with the banks.”
“By working together, banks and operators can strengthen their position in their own markets. NFC will come to the market anyway; let’s take the market share where possible. We need to own the market space and prevent market differentiation before any other party enters the market with enough money.”
KPN is a partner in the joint venture between the Netherlands’ leading banks and mobile network operators that plans to launch commercial NFC services in 2012. Vendor selection for the project will begin next month, with a commercial launch in Q2 or Q3 next year, “probably in a small city, and then weeks after, nationwide.”