Banking on the FutureThe din of the world’s biggest party might have settled down as World Cup fans find their way back home to celebrate or lick their wounds, but as Germany cleans up the mess, its industry continues to hum. Apart from the household names that have come to typify German integrity and ingenuity, whether in automobiles, engineering or home appliances, one company is making a little more noise than others. So just as Volkswagen is synonymous with cars, Wire Card should be with “anything payment.”
To break it down, Wire Card (www.Wire Card.com), a Germany-based holding company with many different products and subsidiaries that provide real-time payment systems, excels in anything that moves money, from online processing, account holding and banking, and credit card issuing agents.
Not Just Playing Games
Positioning its brand, Wire Card has been instrumental in online gaming, which is internationally understood as the most progressive industry in the world today. And marketing that industry has been a key component to Wire Card’s success.
But where other companies in immediate competition exclusively focus on gaming, Wirecard offers a complete coverage of financial value chain not wholly reliant on the gaming industry, as the company is active and successful in several verticals. Also, the internet generally opposes regulation. So whereas some companies might react disproportionately to regulation of the industry, Wire Card has created a strong crossover into other industry sectors, which creates unshakable stability. And that’s what makes Wire Card a unique force in the industry.
Also, in terms of the touchy subject of regulation, things can happen at any time and to depend on the gaming industry alone compounds that risk. And Wire Card, being a stock-traded company and financially embedded in such a highly regulated industry, understood that this isn’t the best position to be in; they had to be more suitable to the end consumer.
In Good Company
Created three years ago, CLICK2PAY (www.click2pay.com) functions like any ewallet to move money online, anywhere, any time by any means. There is a highly diversified base of CLICK2PAY customers, especially in many developing European countries like Poland and Turkey where local options are offered. Even if English is used universally, Wire Card can provide payment solutions in a host of different languages. Call it payment processing with a global aspect.
But payment processing is only part of one platform. Wire Card is firmly aligned with the German Banking Authority and, given its impeccable reputation for online banking and online account holdings for consumers, is in the enviable position to let its rock-solid reputation precede itself.
But being ruled under the German Banking Authority can be a drawn-out process, so Wirecard created its own Wire Card Bank brand and broke ranks with the German Banking Authority. The final announcement of purchase was made at the end of last year and operations took over in January. Now Wire Card’s biggest competitor is Deutsche Bank.
The final announcement of purchase was made at the end of last year and operations took over in January.
One might see being based in Germany as an obstacle to overcome, but they only see cost-enabling opportunities that translate into a general respect to a quality product, as there’s an overriding need, especially in online gaming, to be a stable company in a reputable environment.
With sales revenues up almost 90 percent last year, Wire Card is growing at a staggering rate. But that’s no reason to get complacent. Blue-sky think tank meetings are constantly in session.
To elaborate in more detail, Rüdiger Trautmann, COO of Wire Card, details to GOM the challenges, benefits and advantages of the Wire Card Group for gaming and gambling.
GOM: How would you describe the general business model of the Wire Card Group?
Trautmann: To cut a long story short, Wire Card comprises electronic real-time payment methods with integrated risk management services along with communications solutions. The company’s portfolio of services ranges from standard solutions for electronic payment systems all the way to industry-specific financial-supply chain-management solutions.
What are the key competences of the Wire Card Group?
We provide companies with a wide range of local and global payment methods via credit card and direct debit processing services. And we have established CLICK2PAY, a very successful internet-based payment system. In addition to payment processing via the internet, all distribution channels such as call centers and points of sale are capable of being integrated.
Apart from Wire Card AG, at present the ePayment segment is dominated by U.S. enterprises. How is the internationalization strategy of Wire Card AG unfolding against this backdrop?
Our strategic approach is based on the fundamental statement,
“Think Global – Act Local.” The further penetration of the European, Asian and
North American market by virtue of organic growth is one of our central objectives. Compared with our U.S. rivals, we perceive that we have the edge in this context. After all, the payment platform of Wire Card AG has been optimized to take account of different conditions prevailing in various countries. This is the advantage of an enterprise that has its roots in Europe. Our solutions are convincing because of their ease of customization and flexibility.
Can you explain a bit about Wire Card and its relation to eGaming?
Wire Card is a Solution Partner of the international gaming community. We provide payment solutions tailored precisely to your individual eGaming range, from internet casinos and poker rooms to online role-playing. Therefore we provide many options for the gaming community, from card processing and credit card acceptance to the integration of US ACH, CFT and EFT Global, Wire Transfer and Cash-in-Advance. And of course, there is CLICK2PAY.
How would you explain the CLICK2PAY business model?
CLICK2PAY is a smart, innovative payment system. Our ewallet solution provides simple, secure payment, and is of particular interest to the gaming sector. Each customer can maintain a free CLICK2PAY account where they can view and manage all their transactions any time they want.
How can CLICK2PAY be integrated in existing web infrastructures?
CLICK2PAY is a smart solution. Both technically and in terms of design, the system can be seamlessly integrated in existing websites. Thus, users do not perceive payment as an external process. It can be organically integrated in very different kinds of infrastructure.
What are the main challenges to the gaming and betting business right now?
Currently, we face two challenges: Internationalization and risk management. Risk management was and will always be a challenge for every casino and eGaming company. In addition, we see internationalization, the adaptation of our services to regional markets, as the biggest challenge for the next few years. Every online business knows about the complexity and challenges which are associated with internationalization.
The successful development of the CLICK2PAY community confirms the consistent strategy of localization. CLICK2PAY is actively engaged in 24 countries and has a global orientation with its seven currencies and eleven languages. Wire Card AG adapted CLICK2PAY for the growth markets of Europe and Asia as well as for the Anglo-American region. The latest example of this trend is the Turkish-language version of CLICK2PAY. The range meanwhile comprises 11 languages for 23 countries – Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the U.S.A. This means all correspondence, including sign-up and customer service, is available in each of this languages. Our call center provides anytime assistance from native speaking operators.
Wire Card’s risk management solution offers a high level of security. It’s designed to maximize online sales and minimizes financial losses resulting from fraud. The most efficient way to deflect damage is to spot fraudsters before they strike. To protect online retailers, we deploy comprehensive fraud screening services in our payment processes using a defined set of rules.
Our modular solution can be easily tailored to match individual business needs. Real time risk evaluation of verified data determines whether a transaction should be accepted, rejected or reviewed by the merchant. Wire Card offers a two-tiered approach consisting of the validation of customer and payment data.
Wire Card recently hit the headlines with the start of the Wire Card Bank. What are your plans with the full bank license?
With the start of the Wire Card Bank we consolidate our lead in all performance dimensions. We are now able to extend our service portfolio by the capabilities of a full bank licence. This is a major step in the realization of the strategic vision to become the leading European full service provider for real-time payment solutions. But the most decisive move is that we offer our customers an added value at every level and for every product dimension.
By Carl Friedmann