CommerceGate Sets its Sights on U.S. Markets

Tod Hunter
When Internet payment processor CommerceGate started in 2005, its main focus was offering credit card and payment processing for the European market for U.S. and European clients. In spring 2008, the company entered the U.S. market by getting control over domestic IPSP third-party aggregation accounts with strategic partners SegPay and DHD Media.

"I have the vision of the company becoming the best payment solution for high-risk merchants in the world," CommerceGate CEO Bjorn Skarlen told XBIZ. "With the strategic partnership with DHD Media and SegPay, today we're covering the European and the U.S. markets. Our main focus is on the IPSP business, but the aggregation model is attractive to offer to people. We are offering everything in the payment industry. We're doing accounts with domestic and international banks, [and] we offer gateway services if somebody already has their own account; we're doing that in multiple banks and at multiple geographical points around the U.S."

CommerceGate maintains offices in Barcelona, Dublin, Miami and Los Angeles, offering online businesses services to accept credit card payments from customers worldwide. The company's core business is based around its multiple banking relationships associated with its strategic partners. CommerceGate can facilitate third-party payment processing, direct merchant accounts and payment gateways. The company's state-of-the-art security measures include integrated proprietary fraud filters and anti-fraud systems, secure access management and online tools.

The company also provides exclusive 24/7 support for merchants and end-user clients from offices in Canada, Panama, the Philippines, Spain and the United States in English, German, Spanish, French, Dutch, Italian and Mandarin.

"I think that our difference is we've been around," Skarlen said. "We've got a reputation, we're set in stone [and] we're not going to go away. For the hosting companies, that is important. Another thing that we have that others don't really have is multiple choices. We have multiple currencies, which is very important for a lot of customers. If you're doing traffic deals, you're dealing with multiple countries. You can never really choose where you get the traffic from. If you can make an offer to customers in their own currency, your conversion will definitely go up. And it's better for the billing partner to offer these kinds of services."

CommerceGate's multiple locations and relationships with different banks and financial institutions worldwide help the company offer flexibility to its clients.

"We can do their traffic through multiple banks," Skarlen said. "We can cascade if they want. We can offer multiple banks inside our IPSP, which means that we can add on some of the conversion to their traffic, giving them more money on the bottom line. That's what we do."

CommerceGate's commitment to flexibility and multiple locations extends to its customer service, as well.

"A corporation with a European bank that has its offices in San Francisco finds it easier to have support on the Pacific coast to help them do business and have a seamless flow of transactions," Skarlen said. "At the same time, somebody who has offices in Hungary and business everywhere might want to have a U.S. account. As a billing provider, we have to offer multiple products and multiple services. Anybody who comes to us can choose, and they don't have to shop around. They know that one of our choices will work for them. They want it to be simple, they want to have security, and they want to get paid."

Skarlen told XBIZ that CommerceGate is focusing on the adult industry today and has future plans to diversify into other industries in the high-risk online business.

"The best advice I ever got was, 'think first,'" he said. "It's not always better to work longer, or to do a lot. It's better to work smarter. This market is going to be around for a long time. That's what I think."