VocaLink reportedly sounding out investors for new mobile bill service

VocaLink reportedly sounding out investors for new mobile bill service

The UK's VocaLink is seeking funding to create a new company that will focus on the development of technology for mobile-enabled electronic bill presentment and payment services for utilities and small businesses, according to Sky News.

VocaLink already operates MyBillsOnlinje, a service that lets users view bills and statements in one place. The site taps technology from OneVu, the electronic bill presentment and payment specialist that VocaLink took complete control of in January 2010 after buying out joint venture partner Fiserv.

The new service, which is being developed using the project name Zap, would allow companies to present bills to consumers on their mobile phones, and for immediate payment to be made if customers have sufficient funds in their accounts.

Quoting "insiders", Sky News says that Vocalink's chief executive David Yates is in talks to raise seed funding from the big banks. A major investment bank is expected to be hired in the near future to co-ordinate the fundraising, say the Sky sources.

The service will be launched using a new consumer brand-name which has yet to be created, says Sky, and could be up-and-running by 2014.

The UK Payments Council has already commissioned VocaLink to build a central database that will allow bank customers to link their mobile phone number to their account for person-to-person mobile payments.

Sky's sources say that the ownership structure of the new company would be "more entrepreneurial", with shares potentially sold to SMEs, utilities, retailers and "other participants in the payment value chain".

VocaLink has declined to comment.

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