We have witnessed some prominent partnerships established among players in the payments industry. The number of nodes (and complexity) in the payments ecosystem makes it necessary to strike partnerships to get things done (and sometimes to gain competitive advantage). These partnerships have resulted in product launches, solid market expansion and useful innovation to existing payments systems. Following are the highlights of some noteworthy partnerships:
IBM + Monitise
The companies entered into a partnership in July this year to deliver cloud-based mobile solutions for the financial-services industry, expanding their global alliance to help banks and financial institutions embrace mobile channels for better customer-oriented services. The partnership combined the IBM MobileFirst portfolio and Monitise’s mobile banking and payments portfolio. Financial institutions will get access to data analytics as part of IBM’s Global Business Services initiative. Clients benefit from Monitise’s adoption of IBM BlueMix, a cost-effective development environment.
MasterCard + First Data
The companies had entered into a strategic alliance in August this year to provide a unified solution. The solution was dubbed MasterCard InControl for First Data’s First Vision platform. MasterCard InControl is an innovative and secure payment platform that enables users and corporations to place spending limits on their accounts. It also helps manage how, when and where customers use their card online. The partnership with First Data helped MasterCard support e-commerce spending by providing greater control to cardholders.
UnionPay + GlobalCollect
The companies entered into a partnership last month which saw GlobalCollect becoming a worldwide acquirer for the UnionPay network. With this agreement, GlobalCollect can now connect its client base of leading international ecommerce companies with the holders of 4.5 billion UnionPay cards, creating access to rapidly growing eCommerce markets across Asia and beyond. Merchants offering their consumers to pay with UnionPay cards through GlobalCollect now benefit from faster boarding and implementation, full service processing and consolidated reporting. GlobalCollect processes UnionPay payments in over 90 authorization currencies worldwide.
China mobile + Gemalto
The two companies entered into a partnership in September this year. Gemalto, known for its digital security solution, has been selected by China Mobile to offer its UpTeq NFC Multi-tenant SIMs. This helps protect consumer credentials used for mobile contactless applications. The new initiative by China Mobile was launched for mass transit services beginning in Beijing.
Ingenico + Samsung
The companies entered into a partnership in February this year to offer a joint mobile payment solution. This collaboration enabled retailers and merchants to benefit from a seamless mPayment system – bringing together Ingenico’s merchant mobile platform and card readers with Samsung’s mobile devices and tablets. The combination of Ingenico’s and Samsung’s channels to go to market brought end-to-end and secured mPayment to businesses of all sizes.
Vodafone + MoneyGram
The companies partnered in February this year. Vodafone struck a deal with MoneyGram to enable people to transfer funds directly from around 200 countries to users of the M-Pesa mobile money service. Consumers are now able to send money to M-Pesa accounts from MoneyGram’s 334,000 agents around the world as well as from the firm’s Web site and through its mobile apps. The partners wanted to take advantage of the fact that more than half of all people in the countries, in which M-Pesa operates, do not have traditional bank accounts and that tens of billions of dollars in remittances is sent back to them every year.
American Express + Verifone
The two companies partnered in October last year to launch a pilot program. As part of the pilot study, American Express has allowed credit card users in the New York City area to pay for their taxi ride through points from its rewards program. The partnership was entered into by Amex considering the fact that Verifone processed around 20,000 payments a day in NY City taxis during that period. From a scaling perspective, Verifone’s services are used in most of the point of sale terminals. American Express also intended to extend this program to other areas such as retail, restaurants, transit, etc.
Mastercard + KDDI
The popular card processing firm and the Japanese mobile network operator entered into a partnership in May this year. The partnership saw MasterCard launching the “au WALLET” for 34 Mn subscribers of KDDI. This was one of MasterCard’s largest prepaid card programs in the Middle East, Asia/Pacific as well as Africa (APMEA) region. The au WALLET card enables KDDI’s “au” mobile network subscribers to enjoy safer, easier, and more rewarding payment options. This can be done at any merchant that accepts MasterCard payment cards, either offline or online, in over 210 countries.
Balanced + Coinbase
In February this year, Balanced partnered with Coinbase to enable its customers to accept Bitcoin as a method of payment. Balanced operates as an API platform for two-sided payment transactions. Its support for Bitcoin allowed companies that are accepting payments from one party and making payouts to another, to utilize the feature. Over 450 marketplaces utilize Balanced’s payment solutions. By connecting with the end users’ Coinbase digital wallets, Balanced enables any of these marketplaces to accept Bitcoin as a method of payment.
Groupon + Snapchat
The popular messaging service Snapchat has a feature in which messages disappear as soon as they are read. This basically means that the message gets deleted from Snapchat servers and cannot be retrieved. Marketers can use this feature to send time-sensitive deals to customers, thereby maintaining a sense of excitement in a campaign. This was what attracted Groupon to the Snapchat app, with which it is teaming up to broadcast exclusive offers to its followers. The partnership kicked off in August this year when Groupon wanted to offer a first-come, first-serve deal for a concert.
Rogers, Telus and Bell
The battle for the digital wallet is intensifying in Canada with the launch of a mobile payments app backed by Canada’s major wireless carriers and promises to include the big banks. Rogers has announced recently, the expansion of its mobile wallet client, the suretap wallet, to Bell and Telus devices, including those on Virgin Mobile and Koodo. In fact, CIBC bank has signed up immediately after the announcement and will allow its customers to store any CIBC Visa or MasterCard credit card on the suretap app so they can pay using their smartphone.
Verifone and Ericsson
Ericsson striked a partnership with Verifone Mobile Money recently. The global partnership agreement will make it possible for Ericsson's customers to do tap-and-pay at NFC terminals. Under this deal Verifone mobile money retail enablement software suite will be integrated with Ericsson Wallet platform to expand payment options, including in emerging markets, according to the announcement.