PLDT, Rocket announce joint venture for mobile payment solutions

MANILA, Jan. 6 (PNA) — Telco giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) and top internet platform Rocket Internet AG on Tuesday announced agreement to establish a joint venture for payment services with a focus on emerging markets.

Both companies will each hold a 50 percent stake in the deal which combines the assets of PLDT and Rocket to create a leader in mobile payments expertise.

In a statement, PLDT explained that it will be contributing the intellectual property, platforms and business operations of its market leading mobile-first payment platform Smart e-Money Inc.

Smart e-Money is a pioneer in mobile banking and mobile wallet services which has handled transactions valued at approximately EUR 3.4 billion in 2013.

With over five million active customers and 300,000 trade accounts, SMI owns and manages the Philippines’ biggest “branchless banking” network, certified at the highest global security and governance standards as a financial service platform.

For its part, Rocket will contribute its participations in two of the leading payment platforms for high growth, small-and-medium-sized e-commerce businesses across Europe— Paymill Holding GmbH and Payleven Holding GmbH.

Subject to approval by the relevant authorities, the transaction is planned to close in for the first quarter of 2015.

PLDT President and CEO Napoleon Nazareno expressed enthusiasm in continuing the success of Smart Money and optimizing the synergies between e-commerce and innovative mobile-first payment solutions.

”PLDT continues to build on its strategy to become a driving force in the digital economy, and with Rocket, we have a partner who understands the DNA of the global Internet market more than any other company,” Nazareno said.

Meanwhile, Founder and CEO of Rocket Internet Oliver Samwer welcomed the venture saying it was the “next logical step” of its partnership with the telco.

“…We are pleased that our shared vision for the growth opportunities of the global payment market has been implemented in such an expedited fashion,” Samwer said.

“Rocket’s network of companies combined with PLDT’s 14 years of experience in the mobile payment industry will allow us to deliver world-class innovations in mobile money and micro-payments around the world,” he further said. (PNA)