Monitise takes 100% ownership of UK JV

Monitise has announced that it has taken full ownership of Monilink, the UK mobile banking and payments network.

It has bought out joint venture partner VocaLink to take full ownership of its business operations in its home market, including all future revenues, as the global mobile money industry accelerates.

Under the deal, Monitise will pay an initial £1.5 million in cash over three years for debt free, 100% ownership of Monilink. The deal will simplify and streamline Monitise’s group structure.

Until now Monitise and VocaLink had held equal 50% stakes in Monilink, which has recorded substantial growth in consumer uptake in recent months.

VocaLink will continue to provide Monilink with full access to its banking and payments infrastructure, in return for services fees. It could also earn up to £1.5 million in further consideration, subject to Monilink exceeding financial performance targets, between now and 30 June 2013.

Through Monilink, Monitise supplies full mobile banking and payments services to banks representing over 55% of UK current account holders, including HSBC, Lloyds TSB, NatWest, RBS and Alliance & Leicester.

Going forward, Monilink will operate under Monitise’s worldwide Mobile Money banner.

Duncan McIntyre, chairman at Monitise, said: “This deal, alongside our recently announced global alliance with Visa International, represents excellent news for Monitise. It gives us full ownership and control of a rapidly growing business in an exciting marketplace. The acquisition streamlines the overall Monitise group structure, and we look forward to continuing to provide world class services to our customers.”

Alastair Lukies, chief executive officer at Monitise, added: “Our partnership with VocaLink has established Monitise’s patented technology as the platform of choice for some of the world’s largest and most successful companies. We look forward to continuing our excellent relationship with VocaLink and to further establishing the UK at the forefront of the mobile money industry.”

Martin Wilson, chief commercial officer of VocaLink, said: “Having pioneered electronic payments, many of the world’s banks and their corporate customers rely on VocaLink to meet their transaction needs. Our commitment to mobile banking remains strong and we shall support Monitise’s growth with quality systems and infrastructure.”