Monitise, the mobile banking subsidiary of UK IT services group Morse, is teaming with American fintech vendor Metavante to launch and operate a wireless payments and banking network in the US.
Metavante, which is the fintech subsidiary of Marshall & Ilsley, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Monitise to form a joint venture that will operate the mobile banking and payments network.
The US platform will be based on the same technology used for the Monilink m-banking network in the UK, which was developed by Monitise and national cash machine operator Link.
Metavante says the US venture will enable financial institutions, payment processors, payment networks and billers to provide mobile financial services to consumers via a collaborative network.
Frank D'Angelo, group president, Metavante Payment Solutions, says: "Mobile carriers and financial institutions of all sizes can re-use this existing infrastructure to provide simple and intuitive services to their customers with minimal complexity and up-front investment."
In addition to mobile payments, the Metavante/Monitise JV will deliver two-factor authentication services to US and Canadian banks via Monitise's Accode service, which replaces tokens and key fobs by enabling mobile phones to securely generate a one-time Passcode for desktop, remote and portal access, along with point of sale and Web-based payments.
Metavante says it will provide hosting services for the US platform and as part of this service it will link the m-banking system to its Nyce electronic payments network, which connects 280,000 ATMs and 1.5 million point-of-sale terminals.
The partners say they have been in discussions with key potential participants and expect to launch the initial m-banking services to consumers later this year.
In a related move US banks Wachovia, Regions Financial and SunTrust Banks have all signed deals to implement mobile banking and payments technology provided by Atlanta-based Firethorn in partnership with AT&T.
AT&T says it will embed the Firethorn mobile banking system in its devices to provide Wachovia, Regions and SunTrust with a single, secure application that will enable them to extend their online services to mobile phones.
The downloadable Firethorn application, which is designed to work for any institution on virtually any mobile device, enables consumers to view account balances, transfer funds, receive and pay bills and quickly clear contents if their mobile device is lost or stolen.