The mobile network operator says it doesn’t plan to become a bank but it is “actively looking at the mobile payment category” and has applied for the license in order to “pursue a niche credit card opportunity”.
Canadian mobile network operator Rogers Wireless has applied to the country’s Minister of Finance to become a bank. While the operator has no plans to offer full banking services, it is exploring issuing credit and other cards and is “actively looking at the mobile payment category”, Rogers has explained:
We have applied to the Minister of Finance to become a bank, under the Bank Act, primarily focused on credit, payment and charge card services. We have no plans to become a full-service deposit-taking financial institution.
We routinely explore opportunities to strengthen our position as a leader and innovator in the communications industry. While our core strengths remain in communications and media, we are always looking for more ways to deliver value to our customers.
To be clear, the license, if granted, would give us the flexibility to pursue a niche credit card opportunity to our customers should this make sense at a future date.
The licensing process is well defined, and rigorous. We are following the process, which could take more than a year.
While we are actively looking at the mobile payment category, this particular application is specific to credit card.
Rogers Wireless has a long history of interest in mobile payments and NFC. Along with fellow Canadian operators Bell Mobility and Telus, Rogers formed a joint venture company called EnStream in June 2009. The company offers a mobile wallet called Zoompass and has been involved in testing NFC stickers for mobile payments. In March this year, Rogers revealed that it has plans to become a middleman for NFC mobile payments services.