In less than six months, MoBank Group has sparked plenty of interest among United Kingdom online retail merchants as they upgrade their websites for mobile commerce.

The London-based mobile payment software provider plans to try to do the same in the U.S. market in the fourth quarter of 2012, says MoBank CEO Dominic Keen.

MoBank's enthusiasm for the future is bolstered by the company's July 17 announcement that it has established a partnership with Sage Pay Europe Ltd. to enable Sage Pay to offer MoBank's mobile pay service to the websites of its more than 40,000 merchant clients.

MoBank also established a partnership with WorldPay UK Ltd. earlier in the year, in effect giving the company relationships with two of the U.K.'s largest payment processors in terms of the number of merchant clients, Keen says.

With that sort of presence in the U.K., MoBank hopes to have some credibility established when approaching U.S. businesses later this year.

"We are planning an office in the U.S., and we already have many retailers who trade with U.S. companies," Keen says.

MoBank announced last March that it would offer cloud-based software called MoPowered to help small retailers accept payments from mobile devices.

Since that March announcement, MoBank has secured nearly 100 new clients. It expects the Sage Pay partnership to potentially result in "hundreds of new clients a month," Keen says.

"Merchants are becoming much more savvy about understanding that the mobile commerce experience differs from their regular retail website," Keen adds.

Sage Pay's annual business survey revealed that only 5% of online retailers have software to allow acceptance of mobile payments on their websites, but 40% stated they planned on investing in such software within the next year, Keen notes.

MoBank originally focused on providing MoPowered as "a self-service option," Keen says. In the future, MoPowered will also aid in the connection between mobile pay options and social network channels, he adds.

In addition, the mobile payments industry has experienced "an explosion in digital end-points," with phones, tablets and TVs becoming payment vehicles, Keen says.

"We want MoBank to take those [integration] challenges away from the retailers and help them achieve the goal of incorporating all of those digital options with their sites," he says.

Sage Pay will offer MoPowered as an add-on service to its clients, increasing its fees to provide the extra service, Keen explains. "MoBank has a pay-per-purchase arrangement that Sage would incorporate on top of its processing fee for customers, and we would share in that uplift on the fees," he says.

While the partnership provides a service for online retailers to more easily prepare for mobile commerce, Keen says the arrangement is a signal that payment processors are more readily turning to a "payment performance enhancement" business model.

"I think that is the most interesting development," Keen says.

Enhancing mobile payments services through partnerships is a trend that is likely to accelerate, says Zil Bareisis, a London-based senior analyst for research firm Celent.

"When it comes to mobile commerce, the providers are striving to create an integrated shopping and payment experience," Bareisis says.

Multiple partners, such as application and software providers, payment gateways and others have to come together to deliver an overall product or service, Bareisis contends.

"I would expect to see more partnerships, such as the one between MoBank and Sage Pay, being formed and announced as the payments industry moves forward," he adds.

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