Visa to buy a 15% stake in UK mobile shopping firm Mobile Money Network

Visa to buy a 15% stake in UK mobile shopping firm Mobile Money Network

Visa Europe is to acquire a 15 percent stake in Mobile Money Network (MMN), a London-based mobile commerce company. Other financial terms of the investment were not disclosed.

Visa Europe will take a seat on the MMN board, which is chaired by Sir Stuart Rose, former executive chairman and CEO of Marks and Spencer.

Mobile Money Network offers mobile commerce and payments services for retailers and is the developer of instant mobile checkout app Simply Tap, which basically allows customers to easily identify and purchase products on the go (on iPhone and Android handsets).

As part of the new agreement, the app will soon feature new offers and savings available only to Visa cardholders. In addition, MMN and Visa Europe aim to implement a number of initiatives in the UK this year to take the former’s mobile shopping solutions to a mass market.

Founded in March 2011, MMN’s previous backers include Carphone Warehouse, Charles Dunstone and Monitise.

Visa Europe says there are currently 130 million Visa cards in circulation in the UK, and that £1 in every £3 spent is carried out on a Visa card (around 80 percent of which is on a debit card).

By 2020, the company expects more than half of all its transactions to be carried out on a mobile device, hence its interest in backing Mobile Money Network.

Visa Europe is a payments business that, perhaps confusingly, operates independently but in partnership with global Visa, and in fact doesn’t even seek a profit because of its status as a membership association (the company is owned and operated by more than 3,700 European member banks).

Read next: NBC partners with YouTube to deliver video services for the London 2012 Olympics