Visa teams with Monitise to launch mobile banking solutions

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Visa has signed a new long-term commercial agreement with mobile payment solutions provider Monitise to introduce mobile banking services targeting the credit card giant's U.S. debit and prepaid customers. Visa and Monitise will roll out mobile payments, person-to-person payments, mobile transaction alerts and mobile marketing services optimized for Visa DPS debit and prepaid processing platform clients and processing partners. According to Visa, the new services are designed to meet day-to-day consumer needs like mobile top-up, utility payments and transit ticketing.

Visa and Monitise also will collaborate to expand delivery of mobile financial services to banked Visa account holders. Visa will leverage Monitise's expertise in customizing mobile applications for a broad range of phone models and operating systems to virtualize existing card accounts on mobile phones and offer cardholders worldwide a host of digital payment types. The partnership follows roughly two years after Visa acquired a 14.4 percent stake in Monitise valued at $13 million.

Last month, Visa said it will collaborate with U.S. and international bank partners including US Bancorp, PNC Financial Services, Regions Financial, BB&T Corp, Toronto Dominion's TD Bank and the U.S. arm of Barclays PLC to introduce a digital wallet enabling users to make real-world and online purchases via smartphone. The wallet solution will store the customers' credit and debit card account information.

In related news, Visa has acquired mobile financial services platform provider Fundamo in a move to accelerate the execution of its fledgling digital wallet strategy. Visa will pay approximately $110 million in cash for privately held Fundamo--the acquisition is expected to close today.

The Fundamo platform supports mobile financial services optimized for unbanked and under-banked consumers, including person-to-person payment, airtime top-up, bill payment and branchless banking services. Fundamo brings with it 50 active deployments across more than 40 countries, most of them in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Visa said the addition of the Fundamo platform will bring new wrinkles and enhanced functionality to its existing mobile financial services subscribers, expanding the utility of closed-loop systems to enable greater interoperability, making financial services available to more consumers and giving merchants access to new customers.

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