The ongoing debate over banks’ ability to maintain control of the payments system is generating decidedly different views of the threat posed by telecommunications companies and other new entrants.

In its fourth annual report on the payments business, one extreme scenario from Boston Consulting Group has banks losing as much as $150 billion of revenues, or almost half of global payment revenues, by 2008 unless they come up with a secure and convenient online solution. But other observers say the outlook is not that gloomy, and that the telecommunications industry will be an amiable partner to banks rather than one of their biggest threats, as Boston Consulting hypothetically presents the sector.

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