Monitise snags a UK virtual payment cards patentFeature
Posted by Seth PlanckSeptember 12th, 2011 at 8:00 PM Filed Under Featured, Latest News
Monitise snags a UK virtual payment cards patent
Monitise today announced that it had been awarded a patent in the UK for virtual payment cards.
UK outfit Monitise today announced that it has been granted a patent for virtual payment cards like the ones we have seen with Citi and Google Wallet and exactly the same as CSI’s virtual cards program that we covered a few months back. The patent has been granted in the UK covers virtual payment cards that are separate to any bank account that consumers top up which reduces any risk of a would-be thief getting account or card details. The theory is sound, and protects consumers whether they are shopping online or whether they choose to use virtual payment cards with an NFC mobile wallet.
Whereas NFC mobile wallets are safe, there is always a risk just as there is by using a traditional bank card or credit card. Virtual payment cards negates that risk by only having the funds you want to risk within your virtual account. Monitise generates the “virtual payment cards details” on the mobile phone to enable a consumer to shop in a secure way without them having to divulge data from their credit or debit cards such as personal account numbers, card expiry dates and security codes. The consumer chooses which account to use as the funding account for the virtual payment cards.
“Bank-grade security is at the heart of our growing mobile money business and we welcome this new patent being granted,” said Monitise Group Chief Executive, Alastair Lukies.
“Our innovative technology allows consumers to shop in situations where they have credit and debit cards but don’t want to use them or they don’t have access to such cards,” said Alastair Lukies, speaking about the Monitise virtual payment cards.
Monitise virtual payment cards add other benefits other than security
Another benefit of using a service like Monitise’s virtual payment cards is that you can credit a virtual account for your employees or family members and give them a balance on their mobile phone if it is NFC-enabled. That way you control how much they have access to and always protect your own account from misuse or the risk of some more nefarious actions a thief may attempt.
He added, “Whether it is a consumer setting up a prepaid voucher for themselves, a family member or friend to shop, or a consumer without access to bank accounts, we help people shop when they want and how they want securely and simply.”
“Having established award-winning and proven bank-grade technology, Monitise is committed to investing in its business and protecting its intellectual property as it develops new products and services for its clients and partners, both in the UK and in developed and emerging markets around the world,” added the Monitise Group CEO.
Monitise UK provides services to banks covering more than a whopping 55% of the UK retail banking market on the basis of allowing banks and financial institutions to mitigate risk as they enter into a world of mobile payments. Monitise have also been awarded a patent in the UK for its ‘Mobile ATM’ which a linked part of the process of how consumers get funds on to their phones.
What does this mean for other companies that are providing virtual payment cards?
The virtual payment cards patent that Monitise has been awarded is only relevant in the UK. However if Citi and Google want to offer a virtual card in the UK they will have to enter into licensing talks with Monitise from this point on. If CSI wants to bring their MasterCard version of the virtual payments card in to the UK they will also find themselves in patent infringement territory if they do not work out a licensing agreement with Monitise. At this time Monitise has a global alliance agreement with Visa Inc. and a strategic partnership with Visa Europe.
This could make things difficult for MasterCard to offer a virtual card solution dependent on the terms of the Visa / Monitise agreement. Patents by their very nature always close the market a little and it will be no different with Monitise being awarded the virtual payment cards patent. It does mean that UK consumers could potentially have less choice but then again Monitise is already working with FIS, RBS, NatWest, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, First Direct, U.S. Bank, Ulster Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Travelex, Vocalink, Vodafone, Orange, O2 and T-Mobile (Everything Everywhere), 3 UK, Research In Motion, Best Buy Europe, The Carphone Warehouse, First Eastern, Astra, JETCO and PCCW mobile.
If you would like to learn more about the Monitise virtual payment cards, head over to their website with this link.