BUSINESS

Payment processing news from Optimal, Kalixa, Boku and Skrill

TAGs: boku, kalixa group, neteller, payment processing, probability, Probability PLC, sisal, skrill

heather-locklearOkay, we all know payment processing stories are tedium personified, which is why we’ve given you some vintage Heather Locklear in a crocheted bikini. Now you live up to your end of the bargain by reading all the way through to the end…

Online merchants don’t want customers paying by credit card, according to a new survey by the National Small Business Association (NSBA). The NSBA’s survey of 845 small business owners found only 69% of their websites accepted credit- and debit-card payments, down from 91% just three years ago. Over the same period, acceptance of online payment system PayPal has risen from 22% to 47%. The NSBA number crunchers cited “increasing worries about cybersecurity” and concerns over costs associated with credit card use as contributing to the shift.

Online payment processor Optimal Payments appears to have its financial house in order as it preps for renewed activity in the US market. Optimal reported profits of $14.4m in the first six months of 2013, a sharp turnaround from the $0.8m loss in H1 2012. Revenues rose 50% to $118.4m while earnings rose 126% to $25.3m. The turnaround is predominantly thanks to Optimal’s Neteller eWallet business, which appears to have finally rebounded from the sudden drop in business it experienced post-Black Friday. Optimal CEO Joel Leonoff said he was “particularly encouraged” by Neteller’s performance, which saw revenues up 74% to $28.3m in H1.

Italian gambling operator Sisal has enlisted the help of Kalixa to process online payments via a single integrated platform for Sisal’s sports betting and lottery products. The deal is the largest for Kalixa since it was spun off from its parent company, pan-European online gambling operator Bwin.party digital entertainment, in April.

Mobile gambling specialists Probability have inked a deal with direct carrier billing mobile payment outfit Boku to allow players to make payments linked directly to their mobile account. Probability CEO Charles Cohen said the deal, the first of its kind for a UK gambling company, allows players to make “frictionless payments” in as little as five seconds. Besides convenience, Cohen says the feature can now be offered “at an attractive rate commercially.”

Online payment processor Skrill, last seen getting bad press via PartyPoker’s decision to apply a 3% charge (with no cap) on all Skrill withdrawals, has appointed Joe Hall as sales VP of its US-facing operation. Hall, who previously served as Skrill’s VP of leisure and entertainment, will report to Neil Steinhardt, who was appointed CEO of Skrill USA in March. Skrill has already received regulatory approval to operate in New Jersey’s online gambling market, which is set to go live Nov. 23.

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