Rogers Communications has recently applied to the federal government for a banking license so that along with your phone cable and Internet services, they can perhaps one day give you a mortgage.
At this point, Rogers says it isn’t really interested in become a full-service deposit-taking financial institution at this time so mortgage and lines of credit probably won’t be on the horizon in the near future but because many customers pay their Rogers bill with a credit card, they’ve decided they’d like a piece of that action.
In addition, according to an article in Moneyville, the move may come as part of an advance in technology that will allow your cell phone to act like the piece of plastic itself.
“ Not far off, you’ll be able to wave your cellphone by a payment terminal and it will debit your account or charge your credit card.”
Ok, so now we can bank where we get our groceries, our clothes and now, our cellular phones… What’s next??? Banking where you buy your tires? Oh, wait…
So is all this retailer provided banking providing any real benefit for consumers? Certainly it’s convenient if you are planning on making a large purchase to take advantage of any promotions that the retailer will be offering when obtaining their credit card but typically, the interest rates offered aren’t competitive with that of the big banks. In addition, the rewards programs and incentives offered by the banks are usually very attractive, making it hard for the retailers to compete.
For those retailers offering more than a charge card, like say a mortgage with your pot roast, they are usually affiliated with one of the big five banks and bring with them all the clout of those lenders but a fraction of the overhead, thus the deeply discounted rates. The downside is that the representative you are dealing with in the grocery store is not a licensed mortgage or loan specialist and you will end up dealing primarily with a rep from the call center for you bigger banking needs.
This can be handy if you are a really busy person but it is nice to have the option to sit down with a financial specialist, face to face, to assist you in navigating some of the biggest financial decisions of your life.
In any case, the banking services landscape has certainly changed drastically over the last 20 years and competition is always good for the consumer no matter where it’s coming from. Just make sure you spend as much time choosing your lender as you do choosing your next smartphone.
You can’t pick up a spaghetti squash when you visit our offices but we can provide sound advice, innovative mortgage products and competitive interest rates. Give us a call or complete our handy, online application and we’ll call you!