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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Interview with Lisa Stanton - CEO of Monitise

Today I'm excited to share the details of my mobile banking interview with Lisa Stanton (CEO - Monitise). To learn more about Lisa please visit the Monitise website.

Q: What’s your differentiator? What sets your mobile banking solution apart from the competition?

A: There are 5 ways in which Monitise is unique:
1) Inclusivity – The client does not need to be an online banking user to be a mobile banking user. The Monitise platform covers all of the modalities. Any device. Any consumer. Ubiquitous.

2) Bank Grade – Our solution is tried and tested by the largest banks in the world. It is secure.

3) Line of sight to Payments – We built mobile banking to get to mobile payments and we can use the same rails.

4) Stability – Based on ownership of Metavante/Fidelity & Monitise

5) Turn-Key Service - Monitise can deliver the basic functionality in just 4 weeks. There’s no integration and no hardware required.

Q: Who are your key clients?

A: We have dozens of prepaid programs but H&R Block (Top 10 in debit cards issued) is our largest. We also have over 100 FIs now signed, including a couple of Top 20 Banks.

Q: Who are you key partners?

A: Visa, Corporate Network eCom, eCommLink, and Metavante

Q: Budget season is just around the corner, and the #1 question bankers want to ask is – What’s a mobile banking solution going to cost me?

A: With Monitise there is no upfront investment. The institution simply pays a small ongoing monthly base fee, and they can choose their preferred method:
1. Pay Per Transaction
2. Pay Per User/Month

Monitise also has a business case template to help guide the FI. The return of a mobile banking solution is based upon migrating clients away from foreign ATMs and the Call Center. Additionally, with just a small amount of customer acquisition and a little retention benefit the business case becomes very compelling.

Q: What components of your ROI model have begun to materialize?

A: It has been proven soundly that we’re able to migrate clients away from the ATM and the Call Center. It’s very easy to justify when you’re not incurring $0.50/transactions at a foreign ATM. We have also witnessed more transactions and more dollars flowing through mobile banking accounts, and reducing attrition by just a percent or two goes a long way.

Q: What’s your highest client adoption %

A: 5% in just one year

Q: What’s your lowest client adoption %

A: Around 2% at the end of year one.

Q: What do the demographics of your users look like?

A: There are generational differences but you will see engagement across all demographics. The most intriguing aspect is that there appears to be a huge spike of mobile banking adoption at age 42. There is something to be said for better phones leading to better adoption, but we have 50 banks running on NYCE that are text only.

Q: What do the usage patterns look like? Balance, History, Transfers, BP, Locator?

A: The balance request is the winner by a mile. The second most popular feature depends upon the country. In the UK it is Top-Ups but in the US it is the ability to transfer funds.

Q: What security elements are incorporated into your application?

A: We feel great about our security. We have been live for a couple of years with largest banks and have met all of their requirements. Our application is specific to the device and can not be transferred. Plus, we use a secure PIN that is not tied to the ATM or Debit card.

Q: How likely are biometrics to become a component?

A: We don’t have biometrics on the roadmap currently.

Q: How has the iPhone changed your approach to the business?

A: It has changed the business for everyone. Before the iPhone no one knew how to download mobile banking applications; yet, today many people are very comfortable with the concept. The iPhone also brought about the app stores for Apple, RIM, Palm, etc.

Q: What has been your biggest surprise/lesson-learned over the last couple of years?

A: Monitise Americas really took off just as the economy began to slump. Yet, it has not affected the level of interest in mobile banking. For three years we have seen plenty of interest and engagement in mobile financial services.

Q: What big industry development should we expect within the next 12 months?

A: We will likely see a big bank choose to rollout NFC past the pilot stage, and there will be advances, but they will not be industry changing.

Q: What can banks do a better job of to facilitate mobile banking adoption?

A: Banks need to do a better job of marketing the product, “tell them and they will come.” I know marketing dollars have been stripped, but just a little goes a long way.

Also, institutions can still use mobile as a differentiator, and they should take advantage of the opportunity for as long as they can. It’s great for them and for the industry.

Click on the links below to view the other five articles in this series.

Scott Moeller - MShift

Adam Clark - MCOM

Pete Daffern - Clairmail

Steve Kietz - Mobile Money Ventures

Tripp Rackley - Firethorn

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