Feeds

UK's pay-by-bonk mobile network threesome wins EU approval

One wallet to rule them all, nearly

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

The UK operator consortium to create a single electronic wallet will not impede competition, the EU has decided – though Three, Google and PayPal may beg to differ.

The consortium, which notably excludes the UK's smallest network operator, is intended to create a one-stop specification for distributors of electronic currency in all its forms, enabling cross-operator deployment of credit cards, loyalty schemes and vouchers, as long as the operator isn't Three.

Vodafone, Everything Everywhere and Telefonica launched the project in June last year, giving Three's CEO no more than a few hours warning of the impending cartel. Three promptly complained to Brussels about the exclusion, with Google and PayPal also coming out against the venture (though for different reasons, obviously).

Now the EU has decided, following an "in-depth inquiry" that "the joint venture will not likely lead to a significant impediment to effective competition" so the project can go ahead and get itself a proper name ("Oscar" being a working title).

Once it has an identity Oscar will sell space on operator SIMs for secure services such as payment schemes or loyalty cards, but it will also sell cross-network advertising slots on operator portals and SMS campaigns, which may, or may not, involve secure services.

Project Oscar certainly threatens Google Wallet; every 'Wallet-compatible phone also supports SIM-based secure apps, so there's no incentive for one's bank create a Google Wallet version of its card when an Oscar version will work more broadly. It will also hurt those companies already delivering mobile advertising campaigns, who will now have a hard time pitching against an operator-owned competitor.

From a pay-by-bonk point of view this is a good thing, which can only help drive investment, and utilisation, of proximity payments. Consumers will appreciate a single platform, even if that platform excludes Google and PayPal, though excluding Three might be a harder price to pay. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.