Mobile banking firm Monitise buys US rival for £108m

UK mobile banking technology firm Monitise has agreed to buy privately held US rival Clairmail for $173m (£108m), expanding its reach on the key North American market.

In the UK the firm currently provides mobile banking applications for customers of Natwest, Lloyds TSB, Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC.

After the deal Monitise will reach 13m consumers on four continents, and serve a third of the top 50 North American financial institutions.

Financial services are seen as one of the major business opportunities in the wireless industry but so far has become big business only in a few countries as tight regulations and the lack of a business model have restricted wider take-up.