TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's three biggest telecom firms, keen to keep shareholders happy with fat dividends, are breaking into businesses ranging from banking to healthcare to drive growth as they run out of expansion options and shy away from overseas purchases.
BCE Inc <BCE.TO>, Rogers Communications Inc <RCIb.TO> and Telus Corp <T.TO> dominate their industry in Canada but with landline connections on the wane, cable TV losing out to online portals and wireless growth slowing, Canada's telecom giants are pushing into uncharted businesses.
Square Inc has been in talks with several rivals for a possible sale as the mobile payments startup looks to stem widening losses and dwindling cash, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The company spoke to Google Inc (Mountain View, CA, USA) earlier this year about a possible sale, the Journal reported, adding that it wasn't clear whether the talks are continuing.
NFC player Gemalto says Spain’s Banco Santander is now issuing its Optelio Contactless microSD solution in Spain, Brazil, Chile and Mexico as part of a University Smart Card program.
The application has already gone live at several universities, says Gemalto (Amsterdam, Netherlands), and means that students, teachers and other personnel can use mobile phones for tasks such as gaining entry to buildings and to make payments in canteens.
Canada’s Rogers Communications has introduced a new consumer-oriented M2M service allowing consumers to engage with brands while they are shopping through the use of mobile offers, applications and payments technology.
Branded Mobile Shopper, the service is being trialed by RioCan (Toronto, Canada), Canada’s largest owner of shopping centers, in a number of Ontario-based shopping centers.
Target Corp, which suffered a massive data breach during the holiday shopping season, is speeding up a $100 million program to implement the use of chip-enabled smart cards to protect against cyber theft, a senior company executive said.
In an opinion piece on Monday in the Hill newspaper on the eve of his much-awaited appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chief Financial Officer John Mulligan said the retailer's goal was to have the technology in place by early 2015, more than six months ahead of schedule.
A data breach at Target Corp that exposed the credit card information of tens of millions of holiday shoppers was a major black eye for the retailer. In its wake, investors and analysts are circling companies that could benefit from a major upgrade in credit card technology.
Filipino operator PLDT has launched what it calls a suite of mobile M2M solutions to support “credit, sales and mobile payment operations for local businesses”.
The operator is marketing the new services through its Smart Enterprise division under the brand names of Smart M2M Credit, M2M Sales and M2M Pay.
Network management and security specialist Mako Networks has teamed up with Sprint to provide services for the operator’s mobile customers.
According to the company’s statement, the deal will see Mako’s (Auckland, New Zealand) technology added to Sprint’s (Overland Park, KS, USA) portfolio of services for retailers and distributed enterprises.
Mobile payments specialist HybridPayTech says it has chosen Vodafone’s M2M platform to provide connectivity for its service.
A subsidiary of Freeport Capital (Montreal, Canada), HybridPayTech claims to offer the world’s first completely secure, end-to-end mobile payment service that can process both credit and debit card transactions.
Isis, a venture of three of the top U.S. mobile providers, said on Tuesday it would expand its much-delayed mobile payments service nationwide later in 2013 after it tested the concept with consumers in two markets.
Isis, formed by Verizon Wireless (New York City, NY, USA), AT&T Inc (Dallas, TX, USA) and T-Mobile US (Bellevue, WA, USA), is a so-called mobile wallet service that allows consumers to make payments by waving their phone at a check-out terminal, instead of using a plastic card.