Pursuing its ambitions in the mobile
technology market, US data management software and services company
Sybase has acquired German mobile banking technology specialist
paybox Solutions for an undisclosed sum.
The acquisition of paybox was closed on 30
December 2008, only six weeks after the two companies announced
that they had entered into a partnership agreement.
“Mobile payments are an increasingly critical
part of mobile computing, a core component of our Unwired
Enterprise strategy,” said Marty Beard, president of Sybase 365,
Sybase’s mobile messaging solutions unit into which paybox will be
“The sheer number of people with access to a
mobile phone in both developed and emerging markets around the
world, means the mobile device has the potential to become a
dominant vehicle for consumers to connect and transact
conveniently, anytime, anywhere,” Beard added.
Though Sybase 365 has offered mobile banking
solutions since October 2007, its major strength lies in its mobile
messaging service which, according to Sybase, processes some 200
billion messages annually via 700 mobile network operators (MNO)
with a total subscriber base of 3 billion.
“By combining mobile messaging and mobile
payments offerings, it will be difficult for any competitor to
match our mobile commerce services,” said paybox CEO Eckhard
The significance of paybox to Sybase is
clearly its depth of technological know-how that has earned it a
leadership position in the mobile banking and payments market.
Founded in 1999 with the backing of Germany’s
Deutsche Bank, paybox has played a pioneering role in the mobile
banking market including the launch in Germany in May 2000 of the
world’s first major mobile payments service.
By late-2001 paybox had extended its service
to Austria, Sweden, Spain and the UK and by 2003 had a total of
750,000 registered users.
However, Deutsche Bank’s withdrawal of support
in 2003 necessitated a strategic rethink by paybox which turned its
attention from the retail consumer market to the commercial
Refocused, paybox has gone from strength to
strength, garnering big-name MNOs such as O2 and Vodafone in
Germany; mobilkom and ONE in Austria; Swisscom in Switzerland;
Vodafone in Egypt; and Maxis in Malaysia as users of its
In addition, MasterCard selected paybox
interactive voice response solution as a key element of its
MoneySend service that enables domestic and cross-border
person-to-person funds transfer via mobile phones.
In total some 5 million consumers are
currently using paybox solutions in Europe, America, North Africa,
the Middle East and Asia.