The bank-led Mobey Forum, which has up until now only allowed associate members from handset manufacturers and others, is relaxing its rules so that non-banks can for the first time become full members of the trade body, which is dedicated to advancing mobile financial services.
The new articles of association just published offer full membership to all supervised payment institutions in future. Nets, a northern European payment solutions provider, are the first such company to take advantage of the relaxation in the membership rules and become a full member of Mobey Forum. Simultaneously, a new 'institutional membership' has also been introduced to allow not-for-profit bodies in academia, government or transport, for example, to join the Mobey Forum.
"In order to effectively drive the evolution of the mobile financial services ecosystem Mobey Forum must continue to recognise the importance of fostering dialogue between all stakeholders in the value chain," said Ron van Wezel, the chairman Mobey Forum, when explaining the rationale behind the decision. "By opening up full membership to all financially regulated companies, Mobey Forum is providing a range of different stakeholders with voting rights and the possibility of joining its board of directors to exert greater influence on the organisation's strategic direction."
The organisation is obviously trying to attract many of the merchants, technology companies, card schemes and transit systems which have been involved in various mobile FS projects around the world, with banking partners, and are advancing the cause of Near Field Communication (NFC) proximity payments, mobile transfers and payments, often in advance of more risk-averse banks. This sensible move will bring the various different stakeholders together under one roof and formalise many of the discussions that Mobey Forum banking members are already having with other non-banking stakeholders in other groups.
The announcement follows on from the Forum’s inaugural Mobey Day event which was held in Barcelona last week and was similarly thrown open to any stakeholders who wished to participate in the one-day conference. A full report on the conference can be seen HERE, along with an interview from one of the presenters on the day David Urbano, director of mobile and social media at La Caixa.
By Neil Ainger