UK Mobile Payments Provider Monitise To Be Acquired By US-based Fiserv

An early fintech disruptor, Monitise achieved a colossal £2 billion valuation in 2014. The company, founded back in 2003, rose to prominence as a mobile banking, payments and commerce solution that was significantly ahead of its time.

Monitise signed an agreement with LINK, who administer the UK’s ATM network, in 2006, which led to the development of a mobile banking service giving customers 24-hour access to banking services such as statements and balance enquiries, all via mobile.

Monitise had become a part of Morse Plc in 2006 also, who provided funding to the startup, but was de-merged in 2007, listing on London’s secondary AIM market, and raising £21.4 million in the process.

In 2007, the company launched into the American market with Monitise Americas, a joint venture with the Metavante corporation aimed at providing a secure universal service that catered for all financial service providers and mobile carriers.

Two years later the firm agreed a global alliance agreement with Visa International, which saw Monitise become a preferred partner for the world’s largest retail electronic payments network, facilitating mobile payments, money transfers, transaction alerts and marketing.

Over the next few years Monitise agreed a partnership to supply mobile payments services for Visa Europe’s member banks and financial institutions, acquired US based mobile banking solutions provider Clairmail, put partnerships in place with HSBC and the Cooperative Bank, extended their deal with Visa Europe for a further three years, built an R&D centre in Cardiff, and acquired Grapple Mobile Ltd, which became Monitise Create.

The company was regularly described as one of the world’s most exciting fintech startups in the media, being named as one of the top 15 fastest growing technology businesses in lists compiled by Deloitte in 2011, 2012, and 2013, and ranked third in Forbes list of Most Innovative companies 2014; the highest ranked UK business.

Monitise continued to make acquisitions, including the MyVoucherCodes brand to help grow its Buy Anything mobile commerce business, which served a global network of 60,000 brands and retailers, but revenues had begun to decline.

The company reported further drastic losses in 2016 and its shares lost 96% of their value whilst the company, which had been valued at as much as £2 billion, fell to a valuation of just £66m.

Monitise had begun to fall behind rival services from the likes of Google and Apple, and put itself up for sale – but could not find a buyer.

Fiserv offered 2.9 pence per share, a premium of 26% on the shares closing value of 2.3 pence at close of business on Monday.

Monitise still has 400 staff. Fiserv is currently valued at around $25 billion, and is based on Wall Street.

Fiserv issued a statement in which the firm said that it would look to use Monitise’s FINkit cloud based digital banking platform to launch its own next-generation financial services platform.

Jeffery Yabuki, President and Chief Executive Officer, Fiserv, commented “Monitise has been a global pioneer and innovator in digital banking for more than a decade; combining its talented associates and advanced technologies with leading digital solutions from Fiserv will expand our clients’ ability to provide differentiated experiences to their customers.”