This new program will be a partnership between the Spanish banks called Banco Santander and CaixaBank and Telefonica.
The latest addition to the mobile commerce environment in Spain is a new joint venture that has just been cleared by the European Commission among CaixaBank, Banco Santander, and Telefonica.
They are hoping to form an online community for consumers and merchants alike.
The mobile commerce venture is meant to be the first of its nature. Although its initial target will be Spain, it does have intentions for expansion on an international level over time. According to the conclusions of the commission, the Spanish market will provide enough competition to this venture to make it acceptable. In that marketplace, Telefonica is currently the leader among mobile operators.
The EC looked into the mobile commerce venture as a whole, as well as its digital wallet proposal.
According to the European Commission, there are “several competing digital wallet providers already exist or are very likely to emerge in Spain in the near future.” The commission’s research also indicated that that the overlap between Telefonica and the joint mobile commerce venture was limited in the area of digital advertising, such as loyalty schemes and coupons. Those areas will experience competition from other giants in the industry, such as Yahoo! and Google.
There is a growing trend in mobile commerce, in which mobile operators are partnering with the top credit card firms and banks across Europe and around the world, in which to establish digital payments and wallets services. However, when in Europe, they require the permission of the anti-trust authorities in the Union in order to proceed.
For example, a mobile commerce venture called Weve was established in the United Kingdom and was backed by the biggest three operators, last autumn. It received the approval of the EC at that time. Its business model includes the offering of smartphone based wallets, loyalty programs, advertising, and finally payments services. It does not focus as heavily on a community of consumer-retailers as the newly proposed scheme from Telefonica. Moreover, the venture in Spain is also working toward P2P payments among users.