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Monitise partners with IBM and buys Grapple as it extends its influence into all things m-commerce

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It’s been a busy month for Monitise, as it partners with IBM to help Visa Europe create new mobile commerce services in the cloud, while at the same time buying mobile experience agency and developer Grapple as the payments company expands it influence in m-commerce.

The IBM deal will allow Visa Europe’s member banks to more rapidly develop and roll out mobile payment and banking solutions. Monitise’s “Bank Anywhere, Pay Anyone and Buy Anything” solutions form the basis of Visa Europe’s forthcoming mobile offerings that will provide the most popular banking services used by consumers today on any mobile device. This includes applications for customers to manage money in their accounts, payment services to transfer money and pay other individuals; and transaction services to buy products from retailers, either online or in-store.

IBM will provide a broad range of software, technology services and consulting, including IBM Mobile First solutions, to help power the Monitise mobile services for Visa Europe. Most notably, Visa will use software from IBM’s Smarter Commerce portfolio, enabling member banks to more quickly respond to shifting customer demands and turn customer insight into action.

For example, this will better allow Visa member banks and retail partners to connect with relevant customers and deliver customised marketing offerings to those using Visa’s mobile applications. IBM’s technology supporting Visa includes SmartCloud application hosting, Worklight mobile application development solutions from MobileFirst, as well as Smarter Commerce solutions such as WebSphere Commerce.

Commenting on the tie up, Visa Europe Chief Information Officer Steve Chambers said: “Visa recognises the specialist nature of making mobile services intuitive, convenient and relevant to the consumer, as well as meeting the need for interoperability across the scale and diversity of Europe. We are excited about the value that this collaboration will deliver for our members.”

Meanwhile, Monetise purchase of Grapple will form part of the creation of Monitise Create, a division focused on designing and developing world-class digital strategies and user experiences. The acquisition complements Monitise’s capabilities in creating, deploying and running intuitive, cutting-edge, and bank-grade mobile solutions for and with some of the world’s leading financial institutions, payment companies, network operators and technology businesses such as Visa, Telefónica, IBM, RBS, Lloyds, Cognizant and CGI. Grapple meanwhile has notched up work with Whitbread, Procter & Gamble, Sky and B&Q

Lee Cameron, Monitise Group Chief Commercial Officer said: “The Grapple acquisition marks another important milestone for the growth of our global group and further cements our leading position as a trusted enabler at the centre of the Mobile Money ecosystem.

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