Canada’s EnStream Seeks to Carve Out Role as NFC Aggregator

Canada’s fifth largest credit card issuer, Desjardins Group, plans to launch NFC mobile payments in 2014, and has become the first issuer to sign up with mobile operator joint venture EnStream in hopes of reaching subscribers from multiple telcos in the country.

EnStream, a company formed by Canada’s three largest mobile operators, Rogers Wireless, Bell Mobility and Telus Mobility, has long since given up plans for rolling out its own payments service. Instead, it has become an aggregator of access to mobile operator NFC SIM cards in Canada–reselling space on SIMs for all major and some regional mobile carriers. Together, EnStream claims to reach 95% of the Canadian subscriber market.

It remains to be seen how well EnStream’s SIM aggregation model catches on. EnStream does not offer its own wallet app or a mobile-commerce platform, like its large counterpart to the South, Isis. It believes this could help attract issuers that want to promote their own brands.

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Article comments

 
maarten.bron@ul.com Aug 16 2013

There's three things that are very strong about the business model of EnStream: first of all there is the reach into the market - an alleged 95% market reach should be more than sufficient to attract the attention of the SP community. Secondly, it's the service itself. EnStream positions itself basically as a provider of distributed hosting services: allowing banks and other service providers to host their secure applications literally in the hands of their customers. And as a third, banks are indeed very passionate about branding and the top-of-wallet, top-of-homescreen effect. Allowing BYOW (Bring Your Own Wallet) avoids the situation where the supply and demand side of this B2B market become competitors in the B2C domain. We should build NFC ecosystems, not egosystems!

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