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Alternative E-Payment Methods Can Help Gaming Sites

by Amanda Banks,, London

17 October 2006

E-Money issuer Ukash says that on-line gaming sites wounded by the recent US legislation need to target non-card gamblers using alternative payment techniques.

According to Justin Lunny, Director of Sales at Ukash, alternative payment options offer the most dynamic way forward. “Credit card penetration in continental Europe in particular is far lower than the USA, and if you want to capitalise on the options, you need to harness the potential of the cash player.”

Ukash is preparing to steer the growth of cash transactions for online sportsbook and gambling merchants, outside the States, through a strong management team with a proven track record in Europe. Ukash is currently trading in the UK, Ireland, Spain and Germany and Ukash vouchers will be available to purchase in The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Turkey, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, France, Italy, Romania and Greece by the end of 2006.

Thanks to recent authorisation from the FSA, Ukash now has a licence to operate as a regulated e-money issuer in the UK, offering a higher transaction limit of GBP500 and “passporting” its regulated status to the 27 EEA Member States.

“Online gaming firms are going to have to ramp up their efforts in new world environments if they’re going to bolster revenues.” says Justin Lunny. “They’ll need to adapt to the cultural payment habits of each country, particularly where there is a strong preference for using cash, if they want to tap into these lucrative markets.”

Ukash is currently accepted online by a wide range of gaming and gambling sites including Ladbrokes, MiApuesta, Interwetten and 32Red. Ukash operates in accordance with local laws in each of the countries in which it trades, and Ukash vouchers are not available for purchase in the USA.

Ukash is ideal for people who have credit or debit cards but don’t wish to use them online, or those who do not hold payment cards at all, and Ukash vouchers are available from most stores where electronic mobile top-ups are sold.

Customers exchange cash for a Ukash voucher and then spend the value online at merchants displaying the Ukash payment brand. Every Ukash electronic voucher contains a secure and unique 19 digit code.

To spend Ukash the consumer simply enters their 19 digit code and value when asked for payment details during the check out process. The Ukash payment is authorised in real-time and if change is required a new Ukash 19 digit code is issued online to the customer.

Distribution agreements with leading providers such as PayPoint, ePay, Cash4Handy and Alphyra have made Ukash available from approaching 120,000 payment terminals located in convenience stores and other retail outlets across Europe.

Following the successful launches of Ukash in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Spain, the following new markets will see Ukash becoming available through the remainder of 2006: France, Poland, Sweden, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands. Additional launch markets scheduled for early 2007 are Norway, Czech Republic, Greece, Romania and Switzerland.

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