Cashless payment popular as ever, prepaid cards booming 30 years on, PayLife celebrating strong expansion

(PresseBox) ( Wien, )
Even after 30 years, the PayLife success story goes on. With card numbers, transactions and turnover all on the rise once again in 2010, more and more people are clearly turning to payment cards. The number of transactions involving all PayLife products and services even broke through the one billion barrier last year. "We are especially pleased about this because it proves that people are placing a great deal of trust in our services, and that they appreciate the many benefits of plastic payment", says PayLife's Chief Executive Officer Peter Neubauer. "Forty percent of payments in the retail sector are already cashless", he continues. "That figure could rise to 70% in the next five or ten years."

Big increases in transactions and turnover

Once again, rises in both transactions (trx) and turnover have been reported for products issued and serviced by PayLife.

In total, 544 million transactions were carried out using cards serviced by PayLife, generating a sales volume in excess of EUR 40 billion.

Boom in prepaid cards

PayLife prepaid cards in particular enjoyed a surge in popularity during 2010. By the end of the year, 170,000 of the cards had been sold, nearly four times as many as in the previous year. PayLife also introduced two new products to this sector last year. Since May 2010, fast and easy advances of unemployment benefit and social welfare payments have been available from all AMS job centres in Vienna by means of the Maestro Allrounder: this card does away with the need for time-consuming cash handling and makes the procedure easier for AMS staff. Meanwhile, Shopping City Süd and Donau Zentrum are now welcoming a new PayLife prepaid card called the Shopping Card de Luxe. Thanks to the Shopping Card de Luxe, which can be loaded one time with credit from €10 to €150, shopaholics can shop to their hearts' content at the two shopping centres. The stored credit can be spent in over 450 outlets. In the run-up to Christmas, 95,000 of these cards were sold.

Terminal changeover complete

By the end of 2010, PayLife had successfully carried out its terminal exchange programme, providing much of the trade and service sector in Austria (including restaurants) with a new generation of PayLife POS terminals. "As a result, these businesses are benefiting from terminals that are simpler and more cost-effective to use, more secure and faster. They also comply with all the requirements for terminals in the SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area), which came into force on 1st January," explains Dr. Ewald Judt, Managing Director of PayLife.

International client base more than quadrupled

PayLife is the only Austrian acquirer to offer customers - in seven countries at present - complete international solutions (acceptance contracts and terminals) for all products, without compromising on service quality. No wonder more and more participating outlets in Austria and beyond are choosing PayLife as their international processing partner: in 2010, the customer base more than quadrupled to a total of 100 clients.

New features for the Bankomat system

The Bankomat ATM machine was 30 years old in 2010, and to mark the occasion underwent a facelift. As part of a modernisation initiative for the entire ATM system in Austria, the Bankomat user interface has been given a totally new look and feel. The main emphasis in the development process was on creating an easy-to-use interface for cardholders with an attractively modern look, thereby ensuring fast transactions. Despite the makeover, all Bankomat ATM functions are in the same places as before, and the procedure for all transactions has stayed the same. Continuity of operation is particularly important for visually impaired people.

Outlook for 2011

According to the latest economic forecasts, growth is set to accelerate throughout 2011 and 2012 as the general trend towards cashless payment continues. PayLife therefore expects transactions with payment cards to increase by 5-10% during 2011.
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