Vocalink seeks millions in funding for new payments service

Seeking funding for new payments service

Vocalink is looking to raise tens of millions of pounds in funding to help it develop and launch a mobile payments service for small businesses and utilities, according to Sky News. Using the project name Zap, the new service aims to allow companies to present bills to consumers on their mobile phones, and for immediate payment to be made if customers have sufficient funds in their accounts.

Vocalink is owned by the main high street lenders and is reportedly seeking to set up a new company into which capital would be injected by a group of external and existing bank investors, with a major investment bank expected to be hired soon to co-ordinate the fundraising for the new service which is expected to be launched by 2014. According to reports, ownership of the new company would be “more entrepreneurial” with shares potentially sold to SMEs, utilities, retailers and “other participants in the payment value chain”. Currently, Vocalink’s board of directors includes Sir John Gieve, former deputy governor of the Bank of England, and Richard Hooper, architect of the reform of Royal Mail.

The company is already working on a separate initiative with the UK Payments Council that is looking to use a new national mobile database that would allow customers of UK banks to transfer money between accounts. 

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