Monitise, the global leader in the provision of mobile banking and payments services, and Metavante Corporation, the banking and payments technology subsidiary of Marshall & Ilsley Corporation (NYSE: MI), today announced the formation of a joint venture company, Monitise Americas LLC, the mobile banking and payments ecosystem for the United States.
Plans for the joint venture were announced by the companies in March 2007.
Expected to launch consumer services later this year, Monitise Americas will allow financial institutions of all sizes to offer mobile banking and payments services to their customers across multiple cellular networks. Planned services include balance inquiries, mini-statements, funds transfers, cell phone top-ups and payments. Monitise Americas has also designed its platform to support the future evolution of mobile financial services and mobile commerce.
Monitise Americas is designed to meet the needs of the mass market, and to deliver a service that is universal in terms of security, access and navigation regardless of the consumer's choice of financial institution or mobile carrier. This 'ecosystem' model means that participants - financial institutions, mobile carriers, payments brands and processors, merchants and consumers - share in the benefits generated through the platform. Monitise Americas is already working with leading financial institutions and mobile carriers to align the service to their customers' needs.
"Monitise Americas' ecosystem model will provide any US financial institution, regardless of its size, the ability to offer mobile banking services to its customers. This will provide the American public with the facility to manage their accounts on the move yet maintain their banking relationship with their preferred financial institution," said Alastair Lukies, chief executive, Monitise plc. "Furthermore, as prepaid accounts and contactless payments technology bring point-of-sale payments onto the handset, Monitise Americas will help financial institutions deliver new services to their customers."
The U.S. market consists of 233 million cellular subscribers(1) and the Monitise Americas service boasts compatibility with the vast majority of currently available mobile handsets, delivering one of the broadest new opportunities for electronic financial services. By connecting through existing ATM networks, the Monitise Americas platform will enable financial institutions to deliver mobile banking and payments to their customers without extensive technical integration or high levels of infrastructure expense.
"Convenience is crucial when it comes to customer satisfaction. Monitise Americas continues the innovation that customers have come to count on from the financial services industry by delivering a fifth service delivery channel to complement branch, phone, ATM and Internet," said Frank D'Angelo, group president, Metavante Payment Solutions. "Cell phones have become the one thing you don't leave the house without. Monitise Americas will put the convenience of an ATM into consumers' pockets. Consumers on-the-go can confirm their available balances and even make a transfer to ensure there are adequate funds before using a payment card. As mobile payments evolve at the point of sale, this could bring even more convenience."
Monitise Americas has engineered its platform specifically for the North American mobile banking and payments market, leveraging some of the best practices and award-winning(2) technology developed by Monitise for the MONILINK service in the United Kingdom. Providing mobile banking and payment services to UK customers of HSBC, first direct, Alliance & Leicester, Royal Bank of Scotland, Natwest and Ulster Bank, MONILINK is currently one of the most successful mobile banking and payments services in the world.
(1) CTIA's Semi-Annual Wireless Industry Survey, 2006.
(2) World Economic Forum, Technology Pioneer 2006 and The Banker, Mobile Technology of the Year 2007.