Ericsson may apply for European financial services licence

Mobile Internet industry sees money being thrown about

Swedish vendor Ericsson, which recently announced its entry into the mobile financial services space with an enabling technology play, has not ruled out the possibility that it may apply for a licence to operate financial services itself. Currently Ericsson is working with an unnamed player in the financial space, and it is that player’s licence that enables the Ericsson white label offering. But Semir Majoub, president of Ericsson Mobile Money Services, told that the company may yet look to apply for a licence of its own.

“We haven’t excluded the idea of getting a licence. If we see that there is a value or need for us to get a licence then we will do it,” Mahjoub said. Within the European Union there are financial services licences that stop short of full banking licences, and it was this type of “banking-lite” operating licence that Mahjoub indicated Ericsson might pursue. He said that the processing of such an application would likely take between six months and a year.

“I think the regulation in Europe is going in the right direction,” Mahjoub said, when asked about the extent to which the EC is working to facilitate the wider deployment of mobile money services. “What would really help even further, I think, is if we could get the digital identities stored on the mobile phone. That would really push things along.”

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