skrillThere are plenty of mergers and acquisitions in online payment companies at the moment. It’s a testimony to the burgeoning market. Skrill, based in the UK was acquired by CVC Capital Partners in 2013 for €600 million.

That’s an increase of 600% from 2007 when Skrill, at that time called Moneybookers, was bought for €105 million. However in March this year Optimal Payments, the parent company of Neteller who are a big rival of Skrill, announced their official proposal to acquire the Skrill Group for €1.1 billion.

 

Another astronomical increase in value and another spoke in the monopoly wheel. Especially when you consider that the Skrill Group announced in April that they had completed their acquisition of Ukash.

“Ukash is a shining example of British business. This is an exciting acquisition that will considerably extend our reach in the high-growth prepayment market, enabling us to support consumers and online businesses alike with the world's largest online cash replacement payment method.

I’d like to thank David Hunter, who has been instrumental in the growth of Ukash, which will be integrated with paysafecard. As we move towards our combination with Optimal Payments, paysafecard will continue to be a key part of our strategy and of our offering to our customers.”
-David Sear CEO of Skrill Group

Skrill are market leaders in the European prepaid payment solutions. Their paysafecard has been a boon to online entertainment industries, with approximately 86 million transactions per year in 2014- that’s 162 uses per minute.

With Optimal Payments soon to be acquiring the Skrill Group consumer choice may take a hit. European payment systems are consolidating into fewer hands, yet there are still numerous markets to crack. In order to do so innovative technological advances and the attendant cultural shifts towards online shopping have to evolve.