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BlackBerry enlarges mobile payment footprint with EnStream deal


BlackBerry Ltd. moved deeper into the mobile payment space with the signing of a three-year contract with EnStream LP to provide Canada’s three largest wireless carriers a secure platform for financial transactions between banks and customers.

Under the agreement EnStream, a mobile payments joint venture owned by Bell, Rogers and Telus, will use BlackBerry’s infrastructure to enable the mobile operators and financial institutions such as Royal Bank of Canada, TD Bank Group, CIBC and Desjardins to securely transmit payment card credentials on smart phones capable of near field communications.

This is not the first time that BlackBerry has dipped its toes into the mobile payment space.

Some two years ago, the company rolled out BBM Money in Indonesia. The service allows BlackBerry Messenger customers to transfer funds and conduct other types of financial transactions using BBM. Since BBM has crossed into the iOS, Android (and pretty soon Windows Phone) platforms, there potential that BBM Money will be made available to a wider audience this year.

BlackBerry has also achieved Payment Card Industry (PCI), VISA and Master Card data security certification.

The mobile payment space is growing according to research firm Gartner. Total value of transactions involving mobile technology is expected to grow from $35 billion in 2012 to $173 billion in three year, according to a Gartner report.

BlackBerry said its deal with EnStream will help the smartphone maker extend its core mobility technology into “new and emerging industries.”

“BlackBerry has proven through our decades of experience in enterprise mobility that we have the ideal infrastructure and security capabilities to protect users’ data when new capabilities such as mobile payments emerge,” said John Sims, president of global enterprise services, BlackBerry. “Together with EnStream and partners like them around the world, BlackBerry can better reach customers and provide a complete solution for banks with opportunities in the mobile payments space.”