Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dutch Banks, Telcos Abandon Mobile Wallet Venture

ABN Amro, ING, KPN, Rabobank and Vodafone say the initial project plans proved "too costly and too long" to implement, according to Finextra.

Initially seen as a venture that would launch in 2012, the system would have used near field communications and payment software located in a secure part of the subscriber information module in the user's phone.

The consortium, dubbed "Sixpack," earlier in 2012 set back their planned launch date until 2013 as they awaited the outcome of a European Commission investigation into Project Oscar, the proposed mobile payments JV from a group of UK telcos.

But it appears the potential partners now believe time to market is of the essence, and that it will take too long to launch. T-Mobile, for example, originally was a member of the consortium, but dropped out late in 2011.

One suspects regulatory clearance became an obstacle, though the rest of the market also is evolving rapidly, making "time to market" an issue.

The consortium represented about 90 percent of the mobile market share, as well as 90 percent of the banking market share in the Netherlands. That might not have won approval from European Community regulators who must approve the venture.

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