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BlackBerry turns its enterprise talents to mobile payments

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As BlackBerry’s(s bbry) smartphone sales continue to suffer, most people believe it should shift gears and become a platform and services company. BlackBerry is heeding that advice. On Thursday it signed a new three-year deal with Canadian payments outfit EnStream to secure the credit card information in Canadians’ smartphones.

EnStream is a joint venture between Bell Mobility, Rogers Wireless(s rci) and Telus(s tu). It provides the back-end technology necessary for those carriers to let their customers make credit card payments with their smartphones using near-field communications (NFC). EnStream is basically the Canadian equivalent of Isis (a venture between Verizon(s vz), AT&T(s t) and T-Mobile(s tmus)), but instead of providing a unified mobile wallet directly to consumers, EnStream lurks in the background, powering the mobile wallets developed by its carrier members and individual banks.

BlackBerry comes in with its highly secure enterprise communications infrastructure, which has been routing businesses’ email to mobile devices for a decade. BlackBerry already had a deal in place in with EnStream to provide security software that managed subscriber information on EnStream SIM cards, but today’s deal means BlackBerry will be shepherding transaction payment data from smartphones to the bank.

According to MobileSyrup, NFC payments are starting to emerge in Canada, with all three EnStream mobile carriers launching a mobile wallet this year. Canada’s major financial institutions — Royal Bank of Canada, TD Bank Group, CIBC and Desjardins – are also working with EnStream, sticking their cards in the carriers’ mobile wallets as well as launching their own wallets.


4 Responses to “BlackBerry turns its enterprise talents to mobile payments”

  1. Brian Valdana

    Really, BlackBerry? You should have thought about this four years ago when you were still somewhat relevant. Mobile payments are no dominated by iOS and Android and their top cross-platform solutions, like PayAnywhere. I’m not sure BB can catch up this late in the game.

    • indignant

      This isn’t platform specific – they are managing the back-end. Has nothing to do with iOS, Android, etc. Get your facts straight – they aren’t in the same game as you seem to be thinking.

    • U_Chichimus

      Mobile payments will not be dominated by iOS as IPhones do not even have NFC which is the slickest way to pay. Other smartphones, including even the old BlackBerry Bolds before the BlackBerry 10s,, have NFC.

      • Karl J. Weaver

        The Blackberry Bold 9900 has an NFC chip from NXP, sometimes it was PN65 which embeds the SE or eSE, and in the case of T-Mobile USA BB devices they did deploy SWP NFC USIM cards ISO14443 using NXP controller, but for some reason, ISIS didn’t certify Blackberry Bold and even T-Mobile has stopped selling Blackberry devices. The only real usage of BB Bold 9900 is for NFC Tag reading in the USA market. Hence for Canada, you are home free, BB is basically supplying an ISIS-like handset to the joint venture.