Rogers Acquiring Banking License, Also Invests $5 million in Zoove

ZooveThe long-term plans of Rogers Communications seem to be a bit of a mystery lately. Facing more and more competition in the mobility sector from companies such as Mobilicity, Public Mobile, and Wind, as well as larger competitors like BCE and Telus offering better rates, their stock price has been seeing a bit of a down-turn as of late. Instead of the usual “lean-up” strategy, it would seem the aspirations of Rogers Communications are far more grand.

Rogers Bank

In September, it was confirmed that Rogers had applied to the government to start Rogers Bank.  The official governmental filing states that, “Notice is hereby given, pursuant to subsection 25(2) of the Bank Act (Canada), that Rogers Communications Inc. intends to apply to the Minister of Finance for the issue of letters patent incorporating a bank under the Bank Act (Canada) primarily focused on credit, payment and charge card services.”

Carly Suppa, a spokesperson for Rogers explains, “We have no plans to become a full-service deposit-taking financial institution… The license, if granted, would give us the flexibility to pursue a niche credit card opportunity to our customers should this make sense at a future date”.

Investment In Zoove

“Niche credit card opportunities” are not all that Rogers Communications is up to, for it seems their venture capital arm, Rogers Ventures, have recently invested $5 million in a Palo Alto company known as Zoove.

Zoove are the exclusive provider of StarStar numbers.  StarStar numbers, for those who are curious, are numbers which start with **.  The client can then send whoever dials their number any means of media, without having to bother with all the mess of QR codes, websites, etc.

Zoove believe this to be the future of advertising. “StarStar Numbers are a fast and easy way to request just about anything for their mobile phone. Simply call **BRAND (**27263), and boom! Web pages, coupons,videos, ringtones, apps, and alerts are in their hand. No URLs, disjointed short codes or annoying picture taking. Simply call **ANYTHING on any phone to be connected”

While only available in the US for now, it’s hard to believe Rogers would back the company if there weren’t more northerly plans in the future.