Thursday, April 26, 2007

Operators Don't Want To Get Caught Doing A Barclays Bank

There seems to be a trend among lazy sub-eds to tag anything about mobile payments, wallets etc as "Mobile Banking" - even when the item they're copying doesn't, and they have nothing to do with banking.

The intiative itself appears interesting and has enough momentum to work now that Nokia, Mastercard, Vodafone et al are on board - it's basically just rolling out an internationalized version of the system DoCoMo have been using for some time in Japan - but more interesting is what the operators will do when they hear a lot of people are calling them banks. I bet they'd love to do all sorts of banking related things, but I also bet they really really don't want the banking regulations that come with them. Sticking to payments sounds much more sensible.

There was a lot of discussion about this back when Vodafone launched mPay and other similar initiatives came out, and I seem to remember the consensus opinion was they'd do anything to avoid becoming banks in the regulatory sense of the word, but typically I can't find any of those articles now. Such is life.

(look here if you're confused about the title)