Banco Santander will invest £33 million to acquire ca. 5% in Monitise -- a world-leading mobile money business -- to accelerate the development of the company's new technology platform. Through this partnership, Santander also expects to develop its own capabilities with one of the most innovative digital technology companies, as it seeks to become the bank of choice for its customers who chose to interact with the bank on digital platforms. This is a major step in the development of the fintech strategy of Santander, and will be managed in the context of the Santander Innoventures fund initiative, announced in July this year.
The collaboration currently being discussed includes an accelerated pipeline of opportunities, leveraging Santander’s expertise and scale and Monitise’s technology to build new Mobile Money capabilities for Santander's global customer base. Santander, the largest bank in the Eurozone by market capitalization has over 107 million customers across ten main markets in Europe and the Americas.
Monitise also announced a deepening collaboration with IBM that will include the deployment of Watson, IBM’s cognitive computing engine, to support Monitise’s new technology platform. In addition, Telefónica will become an investor and strategic partner and MasterCard has reconfirmed its strategic partnership relationship through a follow-on investment.
Ana Botín, Santander Group Executive Chairman, said: "With this investment, Santander will become part of a network of trusted partners who will work together to address our customers' needs whenever, however and wherever they chose to bank with us. Our aspiration is to be the best global retail and commercial bank; and we are working to give simple, personal and fair service to all of our clients. Clearly a digital offer is key to this strategic vision of our bank, and this investment, coupled with the exciting opportunities we see through the Santander Innoventures Fund to enhance further what we can offer our customers, provides an excellent base from which to build a global digital offering.”
As strategic partners, Santander and Telefónica will have the right, acting jointly, to nominate a single Non-Executive Director to be appointed to the Monitise Board.
Monitise co-CEO Alastair Lukies said: “The Mobile Money industry is now a global phenomenon. In developed markets it is fundamentally changing the way we bank, pay and buy. In emerging markets it is the foundation of new economic systems. There are two clearand distinct approaches appearing in this industry: disruptors looking for control and collaborators working together to share in a very big and sustainable opportunity. With our partners, we are delighted to be playing our role as an enabler to the Mobile Money collaborators. Via deepening partnerships, our increasingly connected mobile commerce services can become even smarter and more engaging for the businesses we work with.”