Irish e-commerce firm sees 90pc increase in spending

12 Apr 2007

An Irish company that creates virtual online credit cards for the e-commerce sector says that it has seen a 90pc increase in member spending online in 2005 and 2006, outstripping the industry average of 24pc annually over the last two years.

Growth in consumer online spending has risen 24pc annually in the past two years, exceeding US$100bn in the US.

During this period Dublin-headquartered Orbiscom said that it has seen a 90pc growth rate in card member spending using controlled payment number technologies.

The company said this represents a tripling of business over the 2004 to 2006 period from a combined look at results across its clients, including three of the top five credit card issuers in the US.

Orbiscom’s Controlled Payment Number (CPN) product permits cardholders to shop online or on the telephone without revealing their real credit or debit card details. A substitute card number, expiration date and security code is generated at the point of online checkout to protect real credit card details.

The company says that in the six years it has been in the market, clients and their customers have never had an incident of fraud or misuse of credit card details when using its CPN technology.

Established in 1998, Orbiscom’s CPN technology is accessed by more than 200 million credit card holders throughout the world and client companies include MBNA, AIB, Carte Bleue, Swedbank, Credit Lyonaiss and Nippon Shinpan. AIB is understood to have a 15pc stake in the company.

In 2001, Orbiscom raised €19m in venture capital. The investment was lead by Goodbody Corporate Finance and included European investment house HgCapital.

CPNs are offered for free in the US for credit cards under the various brand names of Orbiscom’s clients. These include “VAN” (Virtual Account Numbers) at Citibank, “ShopSafe” at MBNA and Bank of America and “Secure online account numbers” at Discover Card.

PayPal has recently introduced a version of this product, marketed under the name “Virtual Debit Card”. In Europe, CPN is offered to both debit and credit card customers.

By John Kennedy