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January 21, 2009

Sybase buys payment firm for m-commerce push

Paybox has pioneered mass-market mobile payment services

By Jason Stamper

Sybase quietly acquired a mobile payments supplier last year, it has emerged today, paying an undisclosed sum for paybox Solutions of Germany.

The deal was done in December and the company is now to be bolted into Sybase 365, the mobile messaging arm of the business intelligence and database supplier.

President of Sybase 365 Marty Beard explained that the acquisition would help extend the mCommerce footprint of Sybase 365, which already includes remote mobile payments via premium SMS billed to the operators phone bill, and mobile banking services.

“It is part of our moves to unwire the back office to get data and information out to where it needs to be, out to the edge where business happens on mobile devices” he said.

Founded in 1999, paybox was the first to launch mass-market mobile payment solutions in five European markets, and is claimed to have been used by over five million end users and as many as 15,000 merchants.

Beard explained that paybox systems allow mobile phones to be used for buying goods, or to top up values or instantly transfer values between one user and another, across country and other geographical boundaries.

The Frankfurt-based supplier competes in an accelerating market segment with other payment service providers such as Atos Worldwide, Credit Mutuel, GCE-Newtec, Monext, Ogone, and Paypal.

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Sybase said the takeover would enable it to work with carriers, financial services companies and merchants to provide a wide variety of mobile payment solutions, in both developed and emerging markets.

The two companies have been working in partnership since last year, and Sybase does not expect the acquisition to have a material impact on its 2009 financial results.

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