EnStream LP to enable secure mobile payments in Canada
TORONTO-- EnStream LP, a joint venture of Bell, Rogers and TELUS, has announced major steps towards distribution and management of secure mobile credentials, including an operating agreement with Research in Motion (RIM) and the formation of a new Mobile Advisory Council.
EnStream LP will offer both components of the secure interconnection solution: credential delivery for issuers such as banks, and credential management for wireless carriers. EnStream's Service Provider Trusted Service Manager (SP TSM) service for issuers will enable the real-time, wireless deployment of payment and other credentials, while the Secure Element Management (SEM) solution for wireless carriers will provide real-time, wireless management of those credentials within devices.
With the selection of RIM's SEM, EnStream expects that its infrastructure to connect financial institutions and wireless carriers for the deployment and management of financial and other credentials will be operational by year-end. This will enable credential delivery from those institutions that have access to SP TSM facilities. In September, SaskTel engaged EnStream for SEM services. In October, MTS became the second regional carrier to do so.
"This is a key step to making widespread access to secure mobile payments a reality for consumers in Canada. EnStream is leading the way by providing a single interconnection gateway for all Canadian carriers and all Canadian banks," said Almis Ledas, Chief Operating Officer of EnStream. "We're proud that Canada will be one of the first countries in the world to make a shared gateway available to accelerate the adoption of this technology, thanks to the capital commitments and technological capabilities of Canada's wireless carriers."
EnStream also announced the formation of a Mobile Advisory Council for potential issuers of NFC (Near Field Communication) credentials on smartphones. The Council will provide a forum for financial institutions, retailers, transit authorities, government agencies and other stakeholders in the mobile-credential ecosystem to share best practices and ensure all participants can take practical advantage of these new capabilities.
The recently concluded Canadian Government Task Force for the Payments System Review encouraged Canadian banks and wireless carriers to work together to create the conditions for mobile payments.
"By deploying shared, open and accessible mobile credential management infrastructure, and providing a forum for coordination and timely access to information, EnStream is embracing the recommendations of the Task Force and accelerating the rate at which Canadians can realize the benefits of a mobile digital payments system," said Pat Meredith, who chaired the task force and is an expert on financial sector strategy with a particular focus on payments issues. "Canada already leads the world in retail payments through contactless cards. The next step is full mobile payment capability using smartphones and NFC technology, ushering in a new era of payment security and convenience at retail outlets."
EnStream's SP TSM and SEM services will make mobile credential deployment accessible to any financial institution, government agency, corporation or other entity, regardless of size or technical sophistication, with a single gateway to Canada's wireless carriers.
While mobile payments will be the first widely adopted smartphone capability, the EnStream solution will also allow smartphones to be used for transit passes, tickets, access keys, couponing, loyalty rewards, library cards, driver's licences, health cards - in effect placing much of the contents of our wallets securely and directly into smartphones.