Visa Europe invests in mobile shopping JV to drive growth of mobile money services

The Mobile Money Network (MMN) has announced that Visa Europe intends to take a 15% stake in its business, which provides mobile commerce and payments services for retailers. The investment forms part of Visa Europe’s strategy to deliver increased value for consumers, retailers and financial institutions through mobile payments.

Visa Europe and MMN will implement a number of m-commerce initiatives in the UK in 2012, taking MMN’s bank-grade, interoperable infrastructure for secure, fast and simple mobile shopping to the mass market.

MMN’s instant mobile checkout, Simply Tap, allows customers to easily identify and purchase a product on their mobile. Simply Tap can be used wherever a shopper sees a product they want – in print, on outdoor advertising, in-store or online – allowing the user to make an easy, secure purchase, with products delivered directly to his or her home address. As part of the new agreement, the app will also offer a number of new offers and savings available only to Visa cardholders.

There are 130m Visa cards in circulation in the UK and £1 in every £3 spent is now carried out on a Visa card, around 80% of which is on a debit card.

Peter Ayliffe, Chief Executive of Visa Europe said: “This agreement is another step in the delivery of our mobile payments strategy. We are working with partners and organisations across the mobile ecosystem to make the future of payments a reality for consumers, for retailers and for financial institutions. By 2020, we predict that more than half of all our transactions will be carried out on a mobile device. Our investment in the Mobile Money Network will support our aim to deliver a wide range of secure and reliable mobile payment services that help our members tap into the potential of m-commerce.”
As part of the agreement Visa Europe will also take a seat on the MMN board.

Launched in November 2011, MMN and its Simply Tap service is chaired by Sir Stuart Rose as Non-Executive Chairman with backers including Carphone Warehouse, Charles Dunstone and Monitise. MMN is working with a large number of retailers and has already launched services with HMV, Goldsmiths and Thorntons and been first to market with cutting-edge technology including image recognition and transactional QR codes.

Sir Stuart Rose said: “Visa is the benchmark for trusted payments innovation on a global scale and this deal is a clear endorsement of MMN’s ability to provide a secure, innovative and trusted solution. Together, Visa Europe and MMN will enable retailers to offer their customers a simple, unified instant mobile checkout that can be used to accelerate revenues and conversion through all their sales channels. The future of retail is mobile.”