Telefónica Joins with Spanish FIs for New Mobile JV (May 30, 2013)
May 30, 2013
Spain-based telecom giant Telefónica has joined with Spanish financial services providers CaixaBank and Santander to form a new company to develop “business opportunities based on the latest mobile and communication technologies.” According to the involved companies, the alliance is Europe’s first full joint venture between financial institutions and telecom operators for the creation of new mobile commerce ventures.
The JV’s first step will be to create an online community to link merchants and consumers by enabling retailers to offer deals, discounts and promotions. After that, the venture will develop a digital wallet to enable users to make purchases within the online community and send P2P payments to other community members using only the recipient’s phone number.
The planned venture, subject to regulatory approval, has the potential to reach 600,000 users in Spain alone. But participants are taking a global outlook, with plans to leverage the extensive international experience of all three member firms and “start an internationalization process in the short term.” The venture also is considering adding new partners.
While the planned alliance is the first FI-telecom JV in Europe, there have been several other examples of FIs and telecoms working together there. In July 2012, MasterCard and Deutsche Telekom announced a partnership that would offer mobile payment capability to the latter firm’s 93 million European customers. The previous February, U.K.-based Vodafone and Visa unveiled a plan to offer a mobile wallet to the telecom operator’s nearly 400 million users worldwide.