Monitise (LSE: MONI) announces today that it has deployed and launched, with regulatory approval, its globally recognised Mobile Money platform with full access for Chinese speakers.
The initial launch in Hong Kong is a key pillar of Monitise's plans to extend its services into mainland China.
'Easy TopUp' offers a simple, secure and convenient real-time mobile service to top up PCCW-HKT pre-paid SIM cards with payment taken direct from their bank account, as opposed to purchasing vouchers from convenience stores.
The green light to launch the service follows the granting of regulatory approval by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and comes as Monitise joined more than 100 British companies accompanying Prime Minister David Cameron in China on a trade mission to secure new business opportunities.
"I am delighted that Monitise are joining me in the largest British business delegation to go to China this century," Prime Minister David Cameron said.
He added. "This Government's priority is to secure the economic recovery and we are determined to all we can to help British companies to succeed in the global race. I am firmly committed to playing my part which is why I have taken more than 130 business delegates to China, including Monitise. My aim is to open the door for them in this fast-growing market, creating opportunities for them to expand their business."
Monitise Chief Executive Alastair Lukies said: "I'm delighted to be in such good company on this trip alongside many leading interests representing British industry, academia and the arts all seeking to strengthen our trading ties with one of the world's most dynamic economies."
Lukies added: "Britain plc is perfectly placed to reap the commercial benefits that can be unlocked by enterprising business and technology. With the launch of our first Chinese language Mobile Money service we are proud to be playing our role through collective collaboration with our partners to create new ways to bank, pay and buy via mobile handsets and tablets in our increasingly connected world."
Bank of China (Hong Kong) ("BOCHK") is the first bank in HoHong Kong to provide such service to its customers in cooperation with Joint Electronic Teller Service Limited ("JETCO"), the ATM network provider in Hong Kong. The service will allow PCCW-HKT mobile customers to top up their mobile airtime and data SIM cards instantly.
Easy TopUp is the first of its kind offered by JETCO to its network of around 30 member banks in Hong Kong and Macau through its partnership with Monitise. Also available in English, the service involves seamless end-to-end handling of double byte language characters so that Chinese consumers can use it with ease.
Commenting on the launch, Monitise Asia Pacific CEO Darren Sugden said: "We are delighted to see our first Chinese language Mobile Money solutions go live in a market with such an incredible appetite for mobile technology services. This launch provides a solid foundation for future initiatives in this market and across the broader Asia Pacific region."
The service will be supported by JETCO providing access to a real-time guaranteed source of funds through its payments switching capabilities with member banks. It is based on Monitise's proven technology platform, which accounts for billions of transactions annually and is already used by millions of consumers around the world. The platform has been designed to connect networks of Mobile Money players, such as banks and mobile network operators, enabling the creation of innovative value-added services for their customers. Monitise's commercial interests in Asia are run from a base in Hong Kong where the business works with local partners to develop banking, payments and commerce services for the region.
Richard Midgett, PCCW-HKT's Managing Director of Wireless Business, said: "We are pleased to announce the launch of Easy TopUp which will enable our customers in Hong Kong to top up their pre-paid SIM card simply and securely, on the move at any time, bringing them new levels of convenience."
JETCO Deputy General Manager John Tsang commented: "The launch of this service shows our heritage of providing a secure payment switching network, combined with Monitise's technology expertise. We are delighted to provide these services for PCCW, one of Hong Kong's leading mobile operators, and look forward to extending the payment capabilities in due course."
Samuel So, Head of Cash Management at BOCHK, added: "BOCHK has been embracing customer service values through innovation and continuous enhancement of service channels and products to meet the diverse needs of customers. This new Mobile Money Service can bring both corporate and individual customers greater convenience in making top-up payment with their mobile phone apps."