Rogers has presence in many businesses – cable, internet, wireless, home phone, security, magazines, sports teams and soon to be in banking. Apparently Rogers has sent in their application with federal government to open a bank called “Rogers Bank”, or in French “Banque Rogers”.
According to the official filing on September 3rd the application stated 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.”
Rogers spokesperson Carly Suppa stated “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”.
In regards to mobile banking, the latest comScore report had 12.3% of Canadian mobile subscribers accessing banking, credit card, insurance or brokerage account information from their device. There’s currently over 24.5 million wireless subscribers in Canada, Rogers has just over 9 million of those.
Most likely the main reason why Rogers would go into the bank business – apart from making money on the transaction fees – is for the mobile banking/payment aspect of it. Mobile banking and payments is being heavily testing in Canada now, various NFC (Near Field Communications) trials are happening throughout the country. Rogers is also rumoured to officially launch NFC mobile-payments in Canada in early 2012. So this addition of Rogers becoming a financial institution would position them as the leader in the “digital wallet” era, essentially making all basic services available through them.
Update: We’ve heard from Rogers and they stated to us that “While they’re not denying an interest in mobile payments, they insisted this application is only related to the possibility of launching a niche credit card business at some point in the future.”