Monitise and Telefónica sign five-year mobile money partnership

1 July 2013

Telefónica Digital has signed a five-year partnership deal with Monitise, thought to be worth $60m, to enable the mobile money software vendor to develop and manage its new and existing mobile payment and commerce services. The preferred technology partner status for Monitise follows a similar three-year contract with Visa Europe in March under Monitise's Buy Anything mobile commerce initiative. Visa Europe is one of the vendor’s key shareholders.

Telefónica is the world’s third largest mobile network operator (MNO) by subscribers, with more than 316m subscribers across 24 countries, so is an indeal second partner for the $152m (£100m) Buy Anything initiative. According to Andrew Griffin, senior vice president (SVP) of industry and investor relations at Monitise: "It is the second major end-customer deal for our Buy Anything mobile commerce initiative, following our minimum $60m (£38.5m) three-year contract with Visa Europe announced earlier this year. Total minimum revenue for the Telefónica agreement is of a similar order of magnitude and over five years. Back in December 2012 we raised $152m (£100m) in order to accelerate our investment in Buy Anything."

Under the terms of the agreement, Monitise will complement the Telefónica existing technology partners, but take the lead role in the future development of a global technology platform designed to support mobile m-payment and m-commerce services. The initial focus of the partnership will be in the UK, with the MNO’s O2 brand, before rolling out worldwide to cover its Movistar and Vivo commercial brands.

Monitise’s ecosystem connects hundreds of organisations from banking, payments, mobile, merchants and media to millions of consumers around the world via its Bank Anywhere, Pay Anyone and subsequent Buy Anything product range. The partnership with Telefónica Digital gives the firm access to this connectivity and technology.

Commenting on the partnership, Telefónica Digital’s chief executive Matthew Key, said: “Monitise shares our vision of delivering simple, convenient and secure mobile payments and commerce services to consumers. They have established themselves as a leader in the m-commerce ecosystem and are the ideal partner to help us take our capabilities in this area to the next level, continuing to bring high quality services to our customers.”

According to Alastair Lukies, Monitise’s group chief executive, the firm is delighted to be working with Telefónica. “This new partnership leverages our mobile money platforms, products and assets,” he said. “Successful mobile commerce, whether local in-market solutions or global services, is ultimately about collaboration. Partnerships like this show how we are at the heart of the accelerating convergence via mobile between the offline and digital worlds of banking, payments and commerce.”

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