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Emerging Payments

Taiwan Telcos Enter Mobile Pay Joint Venture Arena

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Telecommunications companies creating joint ventures to deliver Near Field Communication-based payments and other services is becoming a global phenomenon.

The latest is in Taiwan, where the country’s Fair Trade Commission has approved a joint venture between five mobile carriers and transportation card issuer EasyCard to develop mobile payment and ticketing services.

Mobile network operators Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, Asia Pacific Telecom, Vibo Telecom and FarEasTone will join EasyCard to create the joint venture company to operate an NFC trusted service management platform, the commission announced Jan. 23.

The commission gave its approval, while establishing conditions that ensure competitors are not kept out of the venture and that no one partner dominates the company. A service developed through the joint venture must also be made available for purchase to competing businesses, the commission says.

The joint venture should result in lower implementation costs and less waste, in addition to economies of scale and shared network operations, the commission says.

The Project Oscar joint venture in the UK underwent considerable scrutiny from the European Commission, which reviewed anti-competition charges from competitors, but ultimately approved the company. The telcos involved in Project Oscar changed its name to Weve, with an initial emphasis on advertising and marketing, rather than payments.

The Isis Mobile Wallet joint venture of U.S. telcos AT&T, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, finally launched its testing phase in October 2012 after a few months of delays.

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