As Monitise debuts its new mobile design and development service, it's weighing how its clients view payments as a complement to their other business lines.

"There is a divide in strategy where some financial institutions want payments in the mobile banking channel while others want a distinction for the payments app," says Lisa Stanton, president of the Americas at Monitise.

Those differences will play a role in how Monitise Create, its mobile design, innovation and development service, will help it approach clients as it enters the North American market.

Monitise Create, which is offered in Europe, enables the development of new mobile services on top of a company's existing products. Payment services are often a key part of that, and Monitise determines how mobile payments fit in with a company's customer engagement strategy through a mix of meeting and consultation, Stanton says.

"Some banks may want a different app for NFC, because consumers want to use the app for just NFC payments but don’t want to log into other services," Stanton says. "Or they may want to do P2P as an independent app. Some banks have four or five different mobile apps for different functions."

Monitise's customer base includes more than 350 financial services companies and other businesses, which have deployed payments, banking and mobile commerce products. Monitise Create's aim is to spot opportunities to add mobility to any service.

"There are bridges across the business that allow for mobile innovation to sit on top of services," Stanton says. "We're saying, 'we know you have mobile and want to enhance it.' We can meet with your other teams to find ways to solve problems that may be outside of traditional mobile services."

One of Monitise Create's clients recently deployed an augmented reality app that allows home shoppers to use their mobile devices to download information on a property while on-site. Such mobile additions often tie into payments and m-commerce.

For example, British hotel chain Premier Inn has added a number of features to its iPhone and iPad apps, allowing users to book reservations, order meals and make payments. The chain is also adding a feature that will allow guests to spot nearby businesses through the hotel's mobile app. One of Monitise Create's first U.S. clients is U.S. Bank, which is working with Monitise Create to improve the user experience for its card management platform. 

Monitise Create's technology includes services from Grapple, a mobile design agency Monitise acquired in 2013.

"This is all about the design and the look and feel of the user interface and how we can bring it to the next level," Stanton says.

Monitise also has relationships with MasterCard and Visa Europe. The technology company recently launched a new platform that includes a hybrid of cloud-delivered and on premise architecture to enables businesses to add new mobile technology quickly, as well as respond to changes in mobile payment habits.

Monitise is also expanding into China, and has attracted business from Bank of China, which is providing mobile money services to consumers in cooperation with the Joint Electronic Teller Service Ltd., a Chinese ATM network provider.

Monitise Group also hired Elizabeth Buse, a longtime Visa executive and one of PaymentsSource's Most Influential Women in Payments, as co-CEO this month. Buse was previously a member of the Monitise board from July 2010 to October 2012.

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