Ukash Storms into Russia and CanadaBy: Joe Valentino, Wednesday October 21st 2009
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Ukash, the electronic payment services provider to the online casino industry, had so far been concentrating on the United Kingdom and Western Europe. Now it is announced entry into two of the largest online gaming markets, Russia and Canada. As has been its policy, Ukash will be taking on local partners in these areas.
In Russia Ukash has entered into an agreement with Wallet One (W1), which has a strong presence in the Ukraine and CIS countries as well. This agreement will enable Ukash to capture the popularity of W1 in these emerging online gaming markets. Online players who registered with W1 can purchase Ukash vouchers from their website. The vouchers can be purchased either online or through a mobile phone. The online player will be immediately sent a 19 digit Ukash number either through a secure online channel or to the player’s mobile phone as a text message. The player can be in any part of the world as long as he has an account with W1. This will enable players to fund their online casino accounts without using credit cards. The Ukash vouchers will be available in denominations from €1 to €500 in designated values. Mark Chirnside, CEO of Ukash said, "Our partnership with W1 reaches hundreds of thousands of consumers worldwide, giving more people the opportunity to make payments online safely and conveniently using cash, which is another step in the global expansion of our alternative payment system."
In Canada Ukash will be partnering with VendTek Systems Inc and using their Now Prepay brand. Ukash vouchers will be immediately available from 4,000 point of sale terminals in Ontario. The company expects that by the end of the year the vouchers will be available from 15,000 outlets across the country. The vouchers will be available in denominations of 25, 50, 75, 100 and 150 Canadian dollars. Ukash sees great potential in the Canadian online gaming market. In 2007 Canadians made online purchases of almost $13 billion. It is estimated that there are more than 70 million consumers in Canada that do not have bank accounts. According to Chirnside the reasons for this are poor credit history and a large number of immigrants. Therefore alternative payment solutions based on cash payments that Ukash provides have a great future in this country. Doug Buchanan, President of VendTek said they had been looking at an online payment product for some time and that Ukash solutions matched well with their services. He added, "We are very excited to partner with them to enable money transfer services over the Now Prepay network in Canada."
The other non-European markets that Ukash has entered into in 2009 are Australia, South Africa and South America.
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