Monitise signs deal with Visa

16 March 2011 |


Visa Europe will offer mobile payment services to its member banks and other financial institutions in the region after partnering with mobile payments provider Monitise.

Mobile payments services have developed rapidly in Africa and Asia to compensate for a poor banking infrastructure. Visa Europe has said it expects the service to spread across Europe as the company looks to partner with member banks and mobile operators in Italy, France, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and the UK. The deal with Monitise comes after a six-year investment by Visa Europe, estimated to be worth approximately €500 million in inter-banking processing services.

“Operators and networks are clearly key players in the mobile money ecosysten, along with financial institutions, retail, transport and ticketing, social media and online advertising,” said Richard Johnson, chief strategy officer at Monitise. “This is a key strategic partnership that validates what our business has been building up to in global mobile money services.”

Monitise provides services to over 240 financial institutions in the US, and already has a global partnership with Visa International to deliver payments services to more than 1.7 billion card holders. David Schropfer, partner at the Luciano Group, believes Visa’s network functions as a communications network in the same way as an operator, by sending instructions to banks to settle accounts. “The data switching networks of every mobile operator is at least as capable, if not more so, as Visa’s network,” he said. “There is no reason why the mobile networks could not take over the communication functions from Visa, allowing mobile network operators to make money, and allowing the merchants to save money.”

Through the partnership, Visa Europe and Monitise will allow banking customers to access Visa account alerts and enable mobile money transfers (P2P). With further developments expected later in the year, Visa believes it can develop its mobile payments service using the same infrastructure that has been in place for the last 50 years with credit and debit cards. “Mobile really represents the next big opportunity to displace cash,” added Bill Gajda, director of mobile innovation at Visa.