Within days of securing a breakthrough deal that will see young Irish electronic payments firm 3V enter Benelux countries, the firm has struck a major deal to roll out its technology in Canada, where it is expected it will see spend volumes of C$100 million.
Earlier this week, 3V announced a new partnership with Banque Invik that will bring the Enterprise Ireland client company’s services to Belgium and Luxembourg, followed by rollout in the Netherlands in early 2010. 3V says it anticipates spend values of €75 million per annum from the Dutch market alone.
Pay-as-you-go VISA voucher
Today, the company has revealed it will also launch its flagship pay-as-you-go VISA voucher product in Canada. People’s Card Services, an affiliate of Peoples Trust Company, will work in conjunction with VendTek Systems lnc. to launch an instant-access version of 3V’s pay-as-you-go VISA voucher product platform into the Canadian market in early 2010.
It is anticipated the market will yield spend values of C$100 million in online payment value on the 3V Transaction Services product set per annum.
The 3V Voucher is an easy to use online payment method, which allow customers to shop online using prepaid vouchers that have a disposable 16-digit VISA number, which the customer uses online just like a standard credit card. Customers can buy vouchers from participating retail outlets, in the same way they currently purchase credit for their mobile phones.
For the Canadian launch, the 3V Voucher process has become instant access, with the customer able to purchase and use immediately. This new system is designed to enable people to go online and shop instantly without any unnecessary holdups.
"The model we’ve built for allowing people
to spend online safely and affordably is going
to be replicated across the world.”
– Kieron Guilfoyle, chief executive of 3V
Enterprise Ireland Canada Trade Mission
The partnership agreements were signed in Edmonton in the presence of Tanaiste Mary Coughlan TD, as part of the Enterprise Ireland Canada Trade Mission earlier this week.
Launched in October 2005 in Ireland, 3V now has more than 400,000 customers and operates in both the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Speaking with Siliconrepublic.com, the chief executive of 3V, Kieron Guilfoyle said that alternative payment technologies are becoming quite popular, spurred on by economic conditions and the fact fewer people than before are likely to own credit cards.
“Yet they do want to shop online. PayPal’s business, for example, is going from strength to strength and other methods, such as the German system of being able to pay for goods online directly from your bank account are also very popular.”
3V system advantages
The advantages of the 3V system, he says, are primarily it is cheaper than a credit card and users are unlikely to be exposed to fraud.
“We used Ireland as a proving ground for the technology and nearly simultaneously we rolled it out across the UK,” Guilfoyle explained. “The business is going strong and the model we’ve built for allowing people to spend online safely and affordably is going to be replicated across the world.”
He said the launch into the Canadian market fits in neatly with this strategy and will prepare it for entering one of the world’s biggest consumer markets, the US. Guilfoyle added that other countries are enquiring about alliances. The company in recent months has struck deals to provide gift-card services that work on websites like eBay, PayPal, Habbo and Bebo.
“Online brands see this as an opportunity for quality retail exposure, for example, gift cards that costs them nothing.”
The company secured €20 million in Series A funding from Atlas Venture and Benchmark Capital Europe, which enabled it to launch into the UK in 2006 and develop its European product offering.
In the UK, the company has also developed and operates the online gift card business for major online brands, such as eBay, Paypal, Bebo and Habbo, and plans to launch its gift card platform in parallel to its core voucher product in all relevant markets. The Irish company now employs 23 full-time staff at its company headquarters in Dublin.
By John Kennedy