opinion

Billing Innovators in Alternative Processing

Stewart Tongue

Proving that innovation and a keen eye for current market trends can allow a new company to gain traction or an existing one to massively increase market share, even in a very competitive field, these payment processing and alternative payout trendsetters have demonstrated massive growth in recent months. Examining the services they are offering can also provide actionable intelligence for site owners, sponsors and webmasters looking to see where the money is moving and how it will be getting from point A to point B as the field of online finance continues to evolve.

One of the fastest-growing companies in the alternative payment solutions market space is also becoming increasingly popular among adult companies as well. Already Ranked 34th on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 —a ranking of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies in North America, Payoneer is on an impressive streak of successful years with fiscal year revenue growth from 2007-2011 of more than 4,750 percent and no signs of slowing down any time soon.

As the global banking market continues to fragment with more and more people not opening traditional checking or savings accounts, pre-paid and reloadable debit cards like the products Payoneer provides will become a dominant form of banking. -Pearl Levy, Sales Executive of Payoneer.

“As the global banking market continues to fragment with more and more people not opening traditional checking or savings accounts, pre-paid and reloadable debit cards like the products Payoneer provides will become a dominant form of banking” said Pearl Levy, Sales Executive of Payoneer. “More and more financial platforms are becoming compatible with prepaid and reloadable debit cards as a vehicle to load the cards. In the near future, users will be able to load their cards from third-party banking solutions like Global Bank Transfers, International Local Currency Checks and Local eWallets, which will push the product beyond being bound by wire transfer loads. Payment Processors will also expand their relationships with payout platforms like Payoneer and build direct, secure, accountable conduits between a customer’s merchant processor account and their payout platform.”

Other players in the processing segment have also shown impressive growth recently, with Signature Card Services announcing an expansion to new markets that included expanding its underwriting staff by 25 percent and its customer service staff by 75 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012. Much of their growth comes on the heels of their recent addition of Aaron Slominski as senior vice president of sales.

Signature Card expanded into new markets including healthcare and online dating while utilizing new technologies like mobile payments and garnering major new accounts including the sixth largest hospital network in the country.

‘In this highly competitive industry, we are delighted at the results we’ve achieved,” said Cliff Teston, CEO of Signature Card Services. “We’ve been extremely successful in developing creative and innovative solutions, such as our new upcoming mobile payment product, that have allowed us to remain at the top of our game and to better meet the needs of our customers.” Mr. Slominski added, “For us, it’s about our commitment to the industry and to our local community. We look forward to continuing to expand our team by attracting the best and the brightest in our field.”

Other innovators in the processing or alternative payment market space include Zombaio, a U.K. company that started in 2003 and expanded to the U.S. market later in October of 2007. “As more and more people are using smart phones and tablets, we have made our services even more available to our clients, by going mobile,” said Sandra Opperud of Zombaio. “We have recently released mobile apps for both Zombaio and our affiliate payroll system, Red Pass. The apps are used frequently for stats, transactions and as an extra layer of security. We are also using text messages as a way to verify our client’s identity to minimize the time for a payout to reach the client. It’s also a great opportunity for Zombaio clients to open up a RedPass account, to which they can receive their funds more quickly and affordably. From a MasterCard connected to the RedPass account, funds can be withdrawn at any ATM or used in any POS transaction, which in many cases are the most cost-effective ways of accessing them.”

In their own continuing efforts to evolve their services and give clients an edge over competitors “Payoneer is thrilled to announce that we have lowered the fees for local bank transfers,” said Levy. “Our Global Bank Transfer service allows our users to receive local and wire transfers directly to their bank account in over 200 countries worldwide and 40 currencies. Now, for over 55 countries, local bank transfers have been reduced to $2.99. Also, one of the new features we released is the ability of individuals to apply for a Payoneer Pre-Paid MasterCard through our website directly and be able to receive payments from more than 2,000 companies. We have a variety of ways to integrate between the cardholders making the payments and numerous ways to make the accounts sync from manual payment all the way to fully integrated by creating white label sign up page for each company.”

Meanwhile, PayWit.com, an upstart in the adult processing segment announced recently that their new micropayment processing system on a proprietary platform is now ready for site owners to add to their billing arsenal as well. “The Kiss platform is portal-agnostic and customizable and, therefore, can be adopted by adult content providers large and small, including bloggers” the company said. “It can serve all formats of digital content, from text to video and audio files to pictures. Payment methods include subscription, donations and one-time payments and can be as small as five cents per single transaction. For advertisers and marketers, the Kiss platform offers access to a pool of dedicated, paying customers for purposes of targeted promotions or market research and allows them to sponsor web user access to paid content.”

Giving consumers the option to purchase anonymous credits (called kisses) from a third-party and then use them to purchase porn sites without any privacy concern may spur sales and reduce chargeback possibilities for site owners, but it also cuts off revenue streams for recurring memberships and reducing the possibility of ancillary sales via ethical upsales, cross-sales or other methods. Some site owners believe they can achieve the best of both worlds.

While growth may have slowed in some areas of the adult industry recently due to piracy, free content saturation, market consolidation and a number of factors - it remains indisputably clear that processing or payment companies with a trusted record of providing real results and a forward thinking approach to new billing innovations will continue to prosper, and so will much of their clientele.

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