From ‘Sixpack’ to Fragmentation in the Netherlands

NFC Times Exclusive – The thinking behind the planned NFC joint venture among the three largest telcos and three biggest banks in the Netherlands back in 2010 was that companies controlling a combined 80% or 90% of their respective markets would be able to cover nearly all Dutch mobile subscribers and banking customers with their forthcoming mobile payments services, thus avoiding fragmentation.

The group was dubbed, “Sixpack,” a nod to the country’s beer producing prowess, and the coordinated NFC platforms and services that the parties were brewing up promised to capitalize on what members believed would be a coming bonanza for mobile payments–using NFC SIM cards to store the applications, of course. 

The group, however, fell apart in 2012, among other things over doubts among the members that their planned joint venture would be approved by EU regulators, which had earlier given a group of UK telcos with a smaller combined market share a hard time before approving a planned JV for NFC payments. 

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