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Can BlackBerry conquer mobile payments this late in the game?

Can BlackBerry conquer mobile payments this late in the game?
Can BlackBerry conquer mobile payments this late in the game?
Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images

Don't call it a comeback... but that's kind of what it is.

Even as BlackBerry fights to survive in a mobile world almost exclusively dominated today by Android and iOS, the embattled Canadian smartphone maker isn’t rolling over.

Just this week, the company announced plans to get more aggressive in the fast-growing world of mobile payments.

Despite intense competition from heavyweights in the mobile payments field (PayAnywhere, Square, etc), BlackBerry has just confirmed a new three-year agreement with EnStream LP, a mobile payments joint venture owned by Canadian wireless carriers Bell, Rogers and TELUS, to provide a secure platform that supports transaction services between banks and consumers.

Under the agreement, EnStream will leverage BlackBerry’s infrastructure to enable a number of financial institutions and mobile operators to provision sensitive payment card credentials into any smartphone capable of near field communication.

“Today the mobile payments space is primed for growth,” BlackBerry explained in a provided statement, citing data from Gartner.

The total value of transactions using mobile technology is expected to grow from $35 billion in 2012 to $173 billion in 2017, at a compound annual growth rate of 31 percent. This projection includes merchandise purchases, ticketing and bill payments, while it excludes person-to-person payments and airtime top-ups.

“Supporting mobile payments reinforces BlackBerry’s ability to provide unique services that help enterprise customers deploy secure mobile solutions that help promote productivity among their workforce and drive new revenue streams,” BlackBerry says. “Working with EnStream demonstrates BlackBerry’s strategy to extend its core enterprise mobility technologies in new and emerging industries.”