Mobile Commerce Insider Featured Article

June 12, 2014

BlackBerry Looks to EnStream for Mobile Transaction Boost

When it comes to mobile commerce, carrying out transactions is one of the biggest parts of the affair. Getting money from where it is to where it needs to be is pretty much as important as having things worth buying on hand and having a way for customers to easily view the merchandise. To that end, BlackBerry is looking to augment its own position in mobile commerce by entering into a new agreement with EnStream for the next three years. Said agreement is set to help make BlackBerry a name to be reckoned with in mobile commerce, and give EnStream access to a substantial new market.

The agreement calls for BlackBerry's infrastructure to be put to work providing secure provisioning for payment card credentials in any smartphone that can offer near field communication (NFC) connectivity. This isn't BlackBerry's first foray into the field; at last report, BlackBerry previously brought BBM Money to Indonesia, which in turn allowed Indonesian customers to not only transfer funds between various instruments, but also carry out other types of transactions as well, all over BlackBerry Messenger (BBM).

Indeed, BlackBerry's president of global enterprise services, John Sims, elaborated on how BlackBerry was best placed to offer powerful new options for the payment market, saying “BlackBerry has proven through our decades of experience in enterprise mobility that we have the ideal infrastructure and security capabilities to protect users' data when new capabilities such as mobile payments emerge. Together with EnStream and partners like them around the world, BlackBerry can better reach customers and provide a complete solution for banks with opportunities in the mobile payments space.”

This in turn is a great place for BlackBerry to find itself; the market has quite a bit in the way of opportunity, as recently discovered by a Gartner study. Said study noted that the value of transactions involved in mobile devices was $35 billion in 2012, but would reach $173 billion in 2017 for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31 percent. There were several sub-facets of this market, including not only things like bill payments and ticket purchases, but also specifically excluding payments directly to individuals as well as airtime payments.

That's a major market, and BlackBerry—with the long-term reputation for security that made it a fixture in the corporate world for years—is poised to take a substantial chunk of it. Working with EnStream, which is itself a mobile payments joint venture between TD Bank Group, CIBC, the Royal Bank of Canada and Desjardins, gives BlackBerry an even more valuable platform from which to work: hardware and infrastructure renowned for its security coupled with the kind of experience that can only come from a major banking group makes this proposition look like a powerhouse in a field that's seeing staggering growth levels.

BlackBerry has needed something like this for some time; considering how much of its market share it's already lost to Apple and the various Android devices—particularly those of Samsung—the end result is that BlackBerry needed a market in which to shine. That reputation for incredible security might just be exactly what the doctor ordered for BlackBerry, and the end result is an extremely powerful one not only for BlackBerry but also for EnStream, who might well end up a force to be reckoned with in mobile payments.




Edited by Maurice Nagle




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