The flags of the USA, Republic of Moldova, Republic of Serbia and Republic of Paraguay

More markets, more POS, more options

06 2021 | NEWS

With the launches in Serbia, Moldova and Paraguay, the last 12 months have been a promising chapter in the history of paysafecard, despite major challenges. Due to the special focus on the future market USA, 2021 in particular will be the year of the biggest growth opportunities for merchants. Here you can find out why.


The past year initiated many changes that will remain with us into the future: due to the frequent restrictions on movement, people are increasingly consuming services and goods online. In addition, the economic effects of COVID-19 will increase the number of people who want to keep their spending under control, who do not want to use credit cards or who do not have their own bank account. In this context, the ongoing global expansion of paysafecard is becoming even more important for the growth strategies of our merchants.

With Eastern Europe and South America, paysafecard further expanded its presence in 2020 in two regions of the world that offer enormous opportunities in the areas of gaming, gambling, and financial inclusion. Even more interesting, however, is paysafecard’s engagement in the U.S., where the iGaming market is being continually liberalised in many states. Here is a brief portrait of the four new paysafecard countries.


Serbia: top market for sports betting

Although the Serbian national team did not manage to qualify for the European Championship, when the most important football event in Europe kicks off in Rome on 11 June, betting transactions will also sharply increase in Serbia. "The younger population in particular is enthusiastic about football and frequently uses betting portals," explains Martin Penzes, Head of International Expansion and Distribution, paysafecard. Many of these bets are placed using a smartphone. This is because Internet penetration in rural areas is currently still below average, but almost every young Serb has a smartphone:

Usage is currently increasing enormously in this area and we therefore see a lot of potential for paysafecard thanks to our close-knit POS (Point of Sales) network – including in the area of gaming and entertainment."

Martin Penzes, Head of International Expansion, paysafecard

paysafecard is available at most petrol stations, kiosks and small neighbourhood shops in the south-eastern European country with around seven million inhabitants and a GDP of around USD 8,000 per capita. In 2021, marketing measures are now being further intensified. "We are working closely with our distributors and local merchants, and some major campaigns are already in the pipeline," says Penzes.


Moldova: paysafecard 24/7

The example of Moldova also shows that the goal of financial inclusion often triggers innovation. Since last December, consumers have been able to buy paysafecard at any time of the day or night at the digital terminals of the local distributor "BPAY". "700 such machines are distributed in the country, which is only around 34,000 square kilometres in size. This ensures that most of the three million residents can use one of them in their vicinity," reports Martin Penzes. This is especially significant for online purchasing behaviour, because only 6% of inhabitants own a credit card. Students can now use the devices to pay their tuition fees online or buy paysafecard to pay for online games. Streaming also plays an important role, as usage shows. "This is why we are investing a lot in marketing," says Penzes: "At the moment, for example, we are working on having screensavers branded with the paysafecard look.


Paraguay: best case for financial inclusion

Paraguay is not simply the 50th country in which customers can purchase paysafecard. After Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, Brazil and soon again Argentina, it is the sixth market for paysafecard in Central and South America. This shows just how great the demand for eCash is on this continent these days. This is because there is still a high number of consumers who were previously excluded from the digital marketplace because they do not have a bank account or credit card.

Of the seven million inhabitants of Paraguay, more than half (around 65%) have internet access and the use of mobile phones is almost at 100%. However, in 2017 less than a third of Paraguayans had a bank account and only 6.5% of adults could use a credit card online. In this specific environment, paysafecard is a perfect solution for online consumers.

Thanks to a partnership with the popular payment network "Practipago", paysafecard can already be obtained from over 1,800 retail shops, including grocery stores, convenience stores, petrol stations and kiosks. "South America offers an ideal environment for prepaid solutions," said Udo Müller, CEO of paysafecard, pleased about the successful market entry. "A considerable part of the population is clearly under-served when it comes to bank accounts and credit cards, meaning paysafecard will enable easy and secure participation in the online marketplace and digital entertainment." In this way, eCash drives financial inclusion wherever digital banking services cannot be taken for granted.


USA: huge opportunity in the sports betting market

Strictly speaking, the U.S. is not a new market for paysafecard. It has been sold there since 2010 for online games across the country. But the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that the states can legalise sports betting themselves has created entirely new conditions for paysafecard merchants. "More and more states are now adjusting their legislation. The next 18 months in particular will be exciting," says Jennifer Reichenbacher, Senior Vice President Marketing Paysafe USA.

This is because Paysafe is already live with the paysafecard in 14 states and supports 75% of U.S. operators. This includes New Jersey, Illinois and Pennsylvania with tens of millions of inhabitants.

Also, on the list of the 28 states where legalisation is currently being advanced, there are populous states like New York, California, Florida, Connecticut, and Ohio. If they are successful in passing the legislation in 2021 and the iGaming market is liberalised in the other states in the coming years, annual growth rates of up to 55% are possible. The market could then grow from 3.4 billion to 24 billion dollars by 2025. To take advantage of these opportunities, the variety of payment options offered will be crucial," says Reichenbacher. "eCash, credit cards, digital wallets: Paysafe offers all of these options through a single payments suite, allowing it to cover all the needs of our merchants' customers. For merchants, this unique offer means that everything is done for them with just one integration." The importance of eCash such as paysafecard in this payment pool is shown by a current study by Paysafe from December, which was carried out in eight of the big iGaming markets that are already regulated. Two results of the "All the Ways Players Pay Report" in particular attract attention.

For most of the respondents, fast payouts were one of the main reasons for choosing a bookmaker. One of the biggest challenges for 37% of them, however, remains that the acceptance of credit or debit cards is denied during the payment process. 14% of respondents reported that their credit card was not accepted. 19 percent then leave the provider's platform without betting. However, almost three quarters continue to try to complete the transaction with an alternative payment method.

In addition to digital wallets, it is primarily eCash solutions such as paysafecard that prevent merchants from losing money in this situation.

In this context, the new possibilities that paysafecard can offer through its takeover of Openbucks Corp. are also interesting. Openbucks brings their branded gift cards online as a payment method for the commercial enterprises "CVS pharmacy" and "Dollar General". By purchasing Openbucks through paysafecard, merchants can now easily offer these retail gift cards as a means of payment in their shops via the paysafecard API. The benefits for merchants are manifold. "CVS Pharmacy" already has a huge distribution network with around 10,000 points of sale (POS) throughout America. And "Dollar General" is represented as "America’s neighbourhood general store" with 17,000 stores in 46 states – and counting.

Together with the 40,000 previous paysafecard sales outlets, this will become the largest eCash point of sale network in the US.

This wide availability is also becoming an important asset for merchants because many Americans very frequently still pay with cash. Over half of Dollar General's customers use cash to settle their bills. That alone corresponds to 60 million consumers. In addition, 22% of American households either do not have a bank account or have very limited access to bank services. Offering eCash options is therefore very likely to increase merchants' sales significantly.

The ongoing efforts to settle rent, taxes or insurance with the help of eCash such as paysafecard, Paysafecash or retail gift cards show how important it is in the US to enable people without a credit card or bank account to make online payments.

Would you like to find out more about their potential in one of these countries? Just ask your Account Manager or use the contact form here.