Semble put to sleep

Millions written off on Spark/Vodafone/2degrees/Paymark joint venture.

Hot on the heels of news that Apple Pay will be launched in New Zealand, Semble has been put to sleep.

A statement released on behalf of the Spark/Vodafone/2degrees/Paymark cellphone-as-wallet joint venture this afternoon reads:

"The Semble board of directors and chief executive have undertaken a further review of the business and with regret have decided to wind down the company’s operations with immediate effect.”

Semble had already essentially thrown in the towel.

On July 15, the company discontinued its much-ignored, little-promoted digital wallet which (unlike Apple Pay, Android Pay and other alternatives), required Joe User to lumber out and get a special SIM card. Another issue: it wasn't available to iPhone users.

Spark reported a $4 million loss from its share in Semble in 2015 and included the service in $9 million of joint venture write-offs in 2016 (which included the axing of Lightbox Sport, its 50:50  JV with Coliseum Sports Media).

At the Oct 2014 Semble launch, l-to-r:  Shelley Ruha, Director of Partners for BNZ, Vodafone CEO Russell Stanners, Semble CEO Rob Ellis, Spark CEO Simon Moutter and 2degrees CEO Stewart Sherriff

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