Visa Inc. (NYSE: V), the world's largest retail electronic payments network1, and Monitise plc (LSE:MONI.L), leaders in the development and operation of mobile financial services, today announced the formation of a joint venture that will provide a technology platform for financial institutions and mobile network operators in India to offer a range of mobile financial services to consumers.
"Together, Visa and Monitise can provide banks and mobile network operators in India the scale, security, and reliability required to make mobile money a reality for consumers."
The new company will combine Visa's expertise in enabling secure, globally interoperable financial transactions with Monitise's know-how in developing mobile financial technology for a broad range of handsets.
The joint venture builds on an existing partnership between Visa and Monitise2, and will give providers of financial services in India a platform to accelerate the delivery of mobile financial services such as banking, bill payments, mass transit ticketing, mobile top-up and others to consumers. India is the world's second largest mobile market with an estimated 584 million mobile phone subscriptions as of 31 March 20103.
Over the past two years, Visa has actively partnered with financial institutions, mobile network operators and technology providers, including Monitise, to extend the benefits of digital currency to more consumers in more countries around the world. Visa has enabled the development and commercialization of a broad range of mobile financial services, including those that have the potential to bring the more than one billion unbanked mobile subscribers into the financial mainstream.
"Creating this joint venture is a crucial step that can help expand the acceptance of digital currency in India and enable the migration of $700 billion of annual consumer spending from cash to electronic forms of payments," said Elizabeth Buse, Group Executive, International, Visa Inc. "Together, Visa and Monitise can provide banks and mobile network operators in India the scale, security, and reliability required to make mobile money a reality for consumers."
Alastair Lukies, Chief Executive Officer of Monitise, said: "This exciting extension of our successful partnership with Visa will enable providers of financial services to have a single secure and convenient link to offer a wide range of services via a mobile device. India's mobile market offers tremendous growth opportunities for this joint venture and for our customers."
Monitise delivers unique expertise that facilitates customized development of mobile financial services for a broad range of handsets. Monitise already serves the needs of more than 200 banks and financial institutions in the United Kingdom and United States of America to deliver similar safe, secure mobile banking and payment services to over two million registered users.
The joint venture transaction will be undertaken in accordance with applicable laws and is expected to close in June 2010. Both shareholders will be contributing resources to the joint venture and an outstanding local team of experts in their fields is being put together. Discussions with a wide variety of potential launch partners are well underway.
1 Based on payments volume, total volume, number of transactions and total number of cards in circulation.