Visa Europe has taken an 8.8 per cent holding in Monitise, a UK-based mobile banking and payment service provider, with a £24.7 million investment.
This move by Visa Europe, which signed an exclusive agreement with Monitise in February to develop m-payment services for Visa Europe's 4,000 members and financial institutions, builds on Visa Inc.'s 14 per cent holding in the UK company.
Visa Europe CEO Peter Ayliffe has also joined the Monitise board, prompting speculation within the financial community that Visa is preparing to make a full-scale takeover bid for the m-payments company.
Commenting on the Visa Europe investment to Dow Jones Newswires, Monitise CEO Alastair Lukies said, "Visa Europe's investment in Monitise, coupled with a deepening relationship eight months after our two companies first entered into a partnership, establishes our role as the platform of choice for mobile money services in Europe."
Separately, Monitise has agreed to acquire the 51 per cent shareholding in its US joint venture, Monitise Americas, that is owned by Metavante, a subsidiary of Fidelity National Information Services.
FT Orange cool to Google Wallet, calls for m-commerce openness
Mobile operators demoted to dumb pipes by new UK payment platform
Everything Everywhere, O2, Vodafone forge JV to fast-track m-commerce
ComScore: Smartphones lift European m-banking usage