Mobile payments companies link up in £109m deal

The mobile payments firm Monitise has acquired its US counterpart Clairmail for £109m as the market for banking and shopping by phone hots up.

Under the terms of the all-share deal, Monitise will have a market capitalisation of close to £400m, with Clairmail representing 26.5 per cent.

Both were loss-making on an operating basis last year, falling £28m into the red on a combined basis, but the merged group should break even next year.

The companies provide back-office technology and software to allow the processing of mobile payments. About one-third of the 50 biggest US financial institutions are clients of Monitise or Clairmail. British clients include Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds TSB.

The mobile market is set to grow as consumers embrace "wave and pay" technology that allows them to buy goods with smartphones.

Monitise's shareholders include credit card group Visa Inc which has a 12.3 per cent stake, Visa Europe with 8.7 per cent and Standard Chartered with 4 per cent.