mFoundry Courts E-Commerce Providers in Its Battle with Fiserv and Monitise

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To keep its edge in the hyper-competitive mobile banking technology industry, mFoundry is partnering with a number of mobile commerce transaction providers. These allies will use mFoundry’s hosted, cloud-based solution to enable banks to quickly deliver a wide range of new features. 

Called Fin.X, mFoundry’ s new platform is designed to give banks a choice among different developers of mobile apps for remote deposit capture, funds transfers, mortgage rates, insurance quotes, account opening, gift card issuance, merchant funded offers and barcode scanning.

mFoundry, which is expected to demonstrate Fin.X at this week’s BAI Retail Delivery conference in Washington, has already gotten Diebold (DBD), Dwolla, Blackhawk Network and Micronotes, to participate in its network. Diebold offers a range of video and other self-service technology. Blackhawk Network is a gift card distribution network owned by Safeway. Dwolla is an online and mobile payments provider and Micronotes is a digital sales company that uses “big data” and one-on-one interviews to aid cross selling. mFoundry says it is offering services from 30 providers across 14 separate feature categories, and will announce more providers in the coming months.

“Rather than doing it all ourselves, there are a ton of companies in the financial technology space that do amazing things with expedited bill pay, peer-to-peer payments, account openings, cross-selling, upselling, and others. So we thought, ‘What if we could tap into that and create a simplified way for them to offer solutions inside our ecosystem?'” said Drew Sievers, cofounder and CEO of mFoundry, in an interview late last week. mFoundry says it uses an extensible architecture that is designed to make it easier to add components in a modular fashion. The company contends its tech can layer on an almost unlimited number of service providers at minimal cost, which allows banks flexibility among existing providers for transaction or processing technology. “You want to give as much choice as possible…and we have integration points with all of those providers,” Sievers says.

Sievers says client and user payments for the mobile applications would depend on the feature, for instance, revenue sharing among stakeholders in a gift card product. mFoundry, which already has about 800 banks and credit unions among its mobile banking clients, including Bank of America (BAC), Zions Bank (ZION) and PNC (PNC), hopes to tap into what’s expected to be fast growth of mobile banking to offer ancillary value-added services via the mobile channel. In its August “State of Mobile Banking” report, Forrester said that more than 108 million U.S. consumers, or 46 percent of all bank account holders, will use mobile banking by 2017, which would be triple current levels.

“The future of mobile banking is how you generate more revenue for the financial institution. It’s not about saving money -- mobile banking pays for itself. It’s about making it a revenue generating tool,” Sievers says.

Jousting among mobile banking technology providers is quite common. A Fiserv spokesman on Monday said the firm, which earlier acquired mobile banking tech firm M-Com, already has an extensible mobile banking platform that integrates easily with other Fiserv products such as person-to-person payments and remote deposit capture, as well as point solutions from other tech providers. “That’s been the bread and butter of our mobility platform, to build out a comprehensive system,” the spokesman said.

Carl Tsukahara, a vice president of marketing at Monitise (MONI), which recently purchased Clairmail, says his firm’s mobile platform also leverages extensible architecture, and the tech firm works with clients such as Standard Chartered (STAN) and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to offer mobile commerce products spun off of mobile banking. “It’s nice to see other people getting the fact that this is important,” he said during an interview on Monday morning.

Sievers on late Monday countered that Fin.X is a more broad solution because it allows other companies to code to mFoundry's platform.

 

 

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