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Santander announces its £33 million investment in Monitise’s global platform to drive growth in Mobile Money ecosystem

Santander Innoventures (Fin-Tech) fund reflects commitment to innovative global mobile banking propositions.

Madrid/London, November 27, 2014 – Banco Santander today announced it will invest £33 million to acquire ca. 5% in Monitise — a world-leading mobile money business — to accelerate the development of the company’s new technology platform. Through this partnership, Santander also expects to develop its own capabilities with one of the most innovative digital technology companies, as it seeks to become the bank of choice for its customers who chose to interact with the bank on digital platforms. This is a major step in the development of the fintech strategy of Santander, and will be managed in the context of the Santander Innoventures fund initiative, announced in July this year.

The collaboration currently being discussed includes an accelerated pipeline of opportunities, leveraging Santander’s expertise and scale and Monitise’s technology to build new Mobile Money capabilities for Santander’s global customer base. Santander, the largest bank in the Eurozone by market capitalization has over 107 million customers across ten main markets in Europe and the Americas.

Monitise also announced a deepening collaboration with IBM  that will include the deployment of Watson, IBM’s cognitive computing engine, to support Monitise’s new technology platform.  In addition, Telefónica  will become an investor and strategic partner and MasterCard has reconfirmed its strategic partnership relationship through a follow-on investment.

Ana Botín, Santander Group Executive Chairman, said: “With this investment, Santander will become part of a network of trusted partners who will work together to address our customers’ needs whenever, however and wherever they chose to bank with us.  Our aspiration is to be the best global retail and commercial bank; and we are working to give simple, personal and fair service to all of our clients.

“Clearly a digital offer is key to this strategic vision of our bank, and this investment, coupled with the exciting opportunities we see through the Santander Innoventures Fund to enhance further what we can offer our customers, provides an excellent base from which to build a global digital offering.”

As strategic partners, Santander and Telefónica will have the right, acting jointly, to nominate a single Non-Executive Director to be appointed to the Monitise Board.

Monitise co-CEO Alastair Lukies said: “The Mobile Money industry is now a global phenomenon. In developed markets it is fundamentally changing the way we bank, pay and buy. In emerging markets it is the foundation of new economic systems. There are two clear and distinct approaches appearing in this industry: disruptors looking for control and collaborators working together to share in a very big and sustainable opportunity. With our partners, we are delighted to be playing our role as an enabler to the Mobile Money collaborators. Via deepening partnerships, our increasingly connected mobile commerce services can become even smarter and more engaging for the businesses we work with.”

Ends

About Santander:
Banco Santander (SAN.MC, STD.N, BNC.LN) is a retail and commercial bank, based in Spain, with a presence in 10 main markets and is the largest bank in the euro zone by market capitalization.  Founded in 1857, it has 3,229,672 shareholders and 183,534 employees serving 107 million customers through 13,067 branches.  It is the largest financial group in Spain and Latin America. It also has significant positions in the United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany, Poland and the northeast United States.  In the first nine months of 2014, Santander registered EUR 4.361 billion in attributable profit, an increase of 32% from the same period of the previous year.

About the Santander Innoventures Fund:
The Santander Innoventures Fund (formerly the Fintech Fund) was launched in July 2014. Based in London, but with a global remit, the Fund builds on the bank’s philosophy of collaboration and partnership with small and start-up companies. The Fund provides Fin-Tech companies with much needed finance, as well as supporting the digital revolution to ensure Santander’s customers world-wide benefit from the latest know-how and innovations across the Banking Group’s Geographies.

The Fund is 100 per cent owned by Santander UK, but is a self-standing, specialised, organisation, fully dedicated to the remit of supporting Fin-Tech companies worldwide. The primary focus is on:

  • Digital Delivery of Financial Services – aimed at reinforcing distribution and the overall customer experience in the new digital environment’
  • E-commerce and Payments ventures;
  • Online lending – Ventures using new data sources to provide better access to credit, including crowd and social funding;
  • E-Financial investments – online systems to distribute financial investment products with self-service and planning capabilities organised around the lifecycle; and,
  • Big Data Analytics – platforms to leverage financial and not financial information to provide better services to our customers
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