epay, the payment technology company best known for being the largest provider of mobile top up in the UK, is expanding its portfolio through the development of a range of new digital products in partnership with household name brands including Nintendo, Xbox, O2 and Adobe.
Simon Bateman, Head of Product and Business Development at epay said, “I joined the company in February this year, and my appointment coincided with a restructure to better service retailers and focus on key product growth areas such as gaming, software and entertainment. The creation of a new partner and business development function has also allowed us to work closer with key brands like Adobe and Nintendo on the development of these cutting edge new products.
Among the newly launched digital range is a new e-voucher product in partnership with Sony. Sony PlayStation® Network Cards are available at more than 6,000 independent stores across the UK, which launched in the Spring of this year. Tracey Tennison, Head of Terminal Sales at epay says “We’ve proactively responded to consumer trends which clearly showed demand for convenient ways to buy online gaming credit, so it’s no surprise that these products sell well. They are also popular with younger gamers who may not have a credit card or bank account, as it means they don’t have to rely on using a parent’s card to pay online.” Simon Bateman agrees that the retailer can reap the benefits of POSA and e-voucher products from epay’s gaming and entertainment category. “Both multiple and independent retailers can expect a boost to their bottom line and increased footfall. Cards which can be swiped at the till are also much easier to store and less expensive than DVD boxes, and there are no stock management issues. Equally, consumers prefer to access the latest products in the most convenient way, so in that sense we’re helping our retailers meet demand.”
When it comes to responding to, and even predicting consumer trends, epay also planned the launch of products to coincide with London 2012, which would be sought after by international customers. A new recharge top up service by ezetop which allows UK visitors and residents to top up mobile phones of friends and family abroad was launched in July, as well as a range of Boss Revolution International Calling Cards, and a new All in One £7.50 e-voucher denomination from Lebara, which gives a combination of national and international mobile & landline minutes and SMS, plus data. Earlier this year they also launched a new international calling pay as you go SIM from Toggle, providing free incoming calls while roaming in over 100 countries and allowing users to have up to nine local mobile numbers on one SIM when registered in these countries. In partnership with global market leader in prepaid calling cards Lycatel, a new suite of competitively priced international calling cards were also launched.
Although epay are well known for providing prepaid products like mobile top up and vouchers, many aren’t aware that they also offer prepaid cards which can be used for spending in much the same way as debit cards, and prove to be a popular choice for budgeting purposes. Simon Bateman said, “Over the past 12 months, we have also been closely monitoring the growing popularity of open-loop prepaid cards, and have partnered with O2, delivering payment processing services for their new O2Money Account Card, which utilises the latest contactless technology and can be used to make payments wherever VISA is accepted. In many instances prepaid cards are the best option for payment, particularly when shopping online as they are not linked to your bank account. You can often save money on booking things like travel tickets where large credit and debit fees otherwise apply. As consumer understanding of the benefits of prepaid cards grows, we want our retailers to be able to offer a range of prepaid cards that can be used almost anywhere.”
These exciting launches from epay come at a time of huge development and growth for the company. MD Jason Thompson says “We have a massive opportunity for continued investment into cutting edge products and services, as we’re in a time of great digitalisation. We have an excellent IT platform, and can distribute anything that has a barcode, which means the possibilities are almost endless- it could mean we’re distributing seats at Wembley stadium, or something as simple as a PIN to unlock Microsoft Office. When it comes to technology we are immensely proud of ours, and know that it puts epay in a highly competitive position. We have the infrastructure and expertise which will allow us to drive innovation with digital services and products consumers and retailers really want.”
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