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Country Snapshot: Slovenia

Marc Jarrett
Located in central Europe, Slovenia gained independence from what was once known as Yugoslavia back in 1991. The country has a population of just over 2m people, with 1.3m having access to the fixed-line Internet at this time. Ljubljana is both the country's capital and largest city.

Slovenia has the highest POS terminal density, with nearly 21,000 terminals per million population. This confirms Slovenia's status as the most developed card market in the region.

Although cardholding, particularly for debit cards, has increased significantly over the last few years, it still remains relatively low — which is why webmasters should consider alternative billing mechanisms if Slovenia is to feature as part of their globalization strategy.

Whilst pay-per-call premium rate phone billing in Slovenia is possible, landline tariffs and mobile tariffs are completely separate. So to be reachable from landlines and mobiles you need to serve two separate numbers.

However, since Slovenia is part of the Euro zone and has the Euro as its currency, you can now let Slovenians pay you in cash, thanks to a processor that is already an established key player in the gaming arena, and that has recently opened its doors to the adult one; London based www.ukash.com.

Slovenian consumers simply purchase Ukash vouchers using cash from Sfera shops or online at www.ukash.si in return for a 19 digit voucher which can be then used online at any website that accepts them. In Slovenia, such vouchers are available in denominations of €10, €25, €50 or €100.

Such billing therefore facilitates a process whereby corner shops, post offices and petrol stations effectively become cash collection agents on the webmaster's behalf. Furthermore, since these are cash transactions, they are not subject to chargebacks.

Since Slovenia has relatively low credit card penetration rates and often features on scrub lists anyway, such processing should therefore be deployed in a primary, not in a secondary, capacity if webmasters wish to maximise returns on their Slovenian traffic.

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