Visa buys Fundamo to boost mobile services

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Visa has acquired mobile financial services platform provider Fundamo for $110 million in cash, both companies said June 9.

Cape Town, South Africa-based Fundamo will provide the technology to enable Visa to deliver mobile financial services to consumers in developing regions around the world, Visa said in a statement. Visa described Fundamo's capabilities as person-to-person payment, airtime top-up, bill payment and branchless banking.

"Fundamo was chosen because of their expertise in delivering mobile financial services in developing economies," said Bill Gajda, head of global mobile product at Visa, via email.

Fundamo CEO Hannes van Rensburg will report directly to Gajda. The Fundamo executive team will continue to manage Fundamo products and services. Fundamo will retain its brand, said Gajda, but will be known as “Fundamo, a Visa company.”

Gajda would not comment on whether the acquisition will result in layoffs.

Visa also said June 9 that it signed a commercial agreement with mobile financial technology provider Monitise that will enable it to offer mobile services to Visa account holders outside the US, such as electronic payments on-the-go.

Visa and London-based Monitise will launch a mobile banking solution in the US for clients of Visa DPS, the company's debit and prepaid processing platform. The service will let Visa clients offer their customers mobile payments, person-to-person payments, mobile transaction alerts and mobile marketing offers, according to a statement from Visa.

The acquisition and commercial agreement will also accelerate the execution of Visa's digital wallet strategy, announced last month, said Gajda.

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