Zoompass – your mobile wallet

For our first Mobile Monday feature we are excited to speak with Aran Hamilton.  Aran is the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships with EnStream.  If you’re not familiar with EnStream you might be know of their Zoompass product.  Here is our conversation:

• I understand Zoompass is a joint venture of Rogers, Bell and Telus. How was EnStream created and what was the thought process behind creating Zoompass?

Zoompass was created as a single point of contact for Canada’s leading wireless carriers and the various participants of the financial services industry. Our mandate is to develop and implement a collaborative strategy that will enable mobile commerce services across the networks of Bell, Rogers and TELUS, and the leading banks card associations and merchants. The idea is to enable every mobile device user to access their electronic money for transacting at anytime and anyplace.   zoompass

The three largest carriers opted to launch Zoompass as a joint venture to create a single voice and single point of contact and to facilitate the overall growth of the industry through: emergence of standards, interoperability, realization of economies of scale, and clear messaging to the consumer.

• What is the difference between using my online banking and using Zoompass? (I can accept payments via email at my bank)

Zoompass is the beginning of the merging of your phone and your wallet. Right now when you leave the house every morning you probably have to try to remember to bring your phone, keys, and wallet. With Zoompass you can just leave home with your phone and your keys… you can leave your wallet behind!

We don’t have all the functionality rolled out yet. Right now Zoompass is mainly a cash replacement tool. We offer a mobile payment service that allows you to send and receive money quickly and securely through your mobile phone. Zoompass can work with your bank account or your credit cards to send and receive the cash. We also give you the cool option of using our contactless MasterCard prepaid card as a separate stored-value account to make online or in-store purchases and ATM withdrawals.  In the future more of Zoompass will be integrated directly into your phone, so Zoompass can be a true mobile wallet: Zoompass can manage your cash, your credit, your bank access, even your identification, and all the other things that you carry around in your wallet.

• It seems Canada has been a little bit slower to develop and embrace mobile payment solutions relative to other nations around the world. Why do you think that is?

Canadians by and large are well “banked”. Canadians by and large have good access to a good variety of debit and credit products through strong financial institutions. Canadians have a high penetration of broadband Internet, and are high users of Web banking, and telephone banking. In many of the countries around the world that are seeing rapid adoption of mobile payment solutions, the banking infrastructure is not what it is here in Canada.

That said, Canadians are very high users of payment products like debit, and we are early adopters of new ways of doing things, so it’s not surprising that we are seeing high demand for Zoompass – it’s very exciting!

• What sets Zoompass apart from other mobile payment solutions companies?

Zoompass is different from other payment solutions in that it was designed specifically for the mobile channel and as such it was designed to take advantage of the capabilities of mobile phones and for mobile phones.

Having been launched by Canada’s leading wireless carriers, Zoompass takes advantage of a great deal of resident expertise and knowledge of building great mobile experiences.

Based on the feedback and attention that Zoompass is receiving from around the world, the idea of creating a single mobile commerce standard for the whole country offers Canadians a huge advantage ahead of many countries around the world.

• Zoompass has been highly embraced by the Toronto social media community. Why do you think that is?

Zoompass has the advantage of having been launched here in Toronto, home of one of the great software development and social media communities in the world. There is no hotter development community in the world right now than that of the surrounding environs of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Within one city we have world-class thinkers and workers in the areas of software, telecommunications, media, social media, human computer interface design, medicine, social responsibility, and finance among other industries – this is a really great place to be!

• You mentioned that the Zoompass service also includes a pre-paid Mastercard. Why is this important for Zoompass’s overall strategy?

I love using my Zoompass prepaid MasterCard to tap and go at my local coffee shop when I get my double double every morning. It saves me time and it means that I never have to worry about having the correct change with me! It saves me the hassle and worry of carrying cash at all!

The purpose of the card is to introduce a new form factor that will allow Canadians to get comfortable with the idea of using new ways to pay. Ultimately mobile phones will integrate near field communications technology and allow people to complete many different kinds of transactions using their phones.

• Where do you see the mobile payment solutions industry moving in 2010?

2010 will likely be a huge year for mobile payments, not just here in Canada but also around the world. Financial institutions, card associations, merchants, and telcos are all very excited at the potential of Zoompass. More importantly consumers love the convenience that Zoompass offers. We have some huge developments coming over the course of the next year, and you can sign up now at Zoompass.com and follow us on twitter @Zoompass for all the exciting news!

• Thank you so much for this Aran!

We hope you enjoyed this feature interview.  If you have suggestions for future profiles please feel free to comment here or email us at karim@techvibes.com.