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Fiserv Sets Sights on M-Payments Tech Vendor Monitise

Fiserv Inc., a Brookfield, Wis.-based global financial services technology provider, has offered to buy Monitise. The cash offer values the U.K.-based m-payments solutions provider at approximately £70 million (US$89.1 million), according to Paybefore sister publication Banking Technology. The transaction is subject to certain conditions, including Monitise shareholder approval, and is expected to close during the third quarter of this year.

“Monitise has been a global pioneer and innovator in digital banking for more than a decade,” said Jeffery Yabuki, Fiserv president and CEO. “Combining its talented associates and advanced technologies with leading digital solutions from Fiserv will expand our clients’ ability to provide differentiated experiences to their customers.”

Monitise has operations in Europe, Turkey and the U.S. It has six business lines, with the newest one being FINkit, a cloud-based development platform and toolkit for banks and financial services clients. FINkit is built on IBM’s Bluemix platform. Lee Cameron, CEO of Monitise, said Fiserv is “well-positioned to carry this business forward” and that his company’s clients “will be served well by Fiserv.”

All’s Well that Ends Well 

Monitise went through a difficult few years, partly attributed to growing too big too fast. By 2014, it had to write off £128.5 million (US$163.6 million) in efforts to reshape its model. The cost-cutting exercise continued into 2015.

The vendor put itself up for sale in early 2015 but changed its mind a couple of months later, following a strategic review concluding that Monitise should remain independent. The company’s share prices plummeted by as much as 80 percent and in mid-2015 when one of its shareholders, Visa Europe, announced it was getting out. There was a quick succession of CEOs at Monitise, too, and the departure of the chief financial officer.

However, the company started to turn its fortunes around in 2016, with a 45 percent reduction in operating costs, making a small profit in in the second half of 2016 and appointing a new chief operating officer. It also cut its workforce from 1,000 to 300 people and moved all major development and engineering offshore.

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