You may have seen Bluechain’s name mentioned in association with the consortium of banks that applied to the ACCC “to engage in limited collective negotiation with providers of third-party mobile wallet services on conditions relating to competition, best practice standards, and efficiency and transparency.” The news was picked up by AppleInsider and others.

The submission is about ensuring that the potential of mobile wallets and mobile payments is realised in the Australian market by introducing these technologies in circumstances that do not limit or restrict customer choice.

In our submission, as an interested party, we have highlighted that, through patented technology and real-time connectivity, it is possible to provide payment solutions with the appropriate level of security without relying on the contactless (NFC) interface. In fact, the Bluechain security architecture does just this by making use of any form of connectivity available (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, cellular or NFC).

Clearly, Bluechain is able to operate without this form of connectivity, so why did we support the submission? There are several reasons:

  • With access to the complete range of NFC modes, Bluechain can provide a more secure and efficient solution, allowing smart devices to access a full range of services.
  • If device manufacturers block or limit control on other interfaces, such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and biometrics, this would cause significant disruption to market choice and dramatically restrict true innovation.
  • We support open access to both mobile hardware interfaces and banking services to ensure vigorous competition, which drives innovation, efficiency and investment in payment solutions.

So while the submission is not critical to the future of Bluechain’s success, we see support for this initiative as important in fostering an environment where innovations in payment technologies can continue to come to market and not be limited or controlled by major corporations.

It’s a bit like buying a car and being told that you can only purchase fuel from a certain petrol station because they have done a deal with the manufacturer to take a share of the transaction. If such practices go unchallenged, the potential consequences are truly scary for both consumers and innovators.