Since its launch in 2000, paysafecard has made it possible for people to pay safely online, as they would with cash. With the expansion, paysafecard also became available internationally and is now one of the world market leaders in prepaid solutions and part of Paysafe Holdings UK Limited.
2000 - 2007: the first years
2000-2001: paysafecard launched in Austria and Germany
Four friends stood together at the beginning in 2000: Armin Sageder as CEO, Michael Müller, Reinhard Eilmsteiner and Michael Altrichter. They had the vision of "cash for the internet" and developed paysafecard. Today's management - Udo Müller and Joze Rant - were on board right from the start.
The attractively simple product idea: paysafecard is purchased at sales outlets and used to pay by entering a printed 16-digit PIN in an online shop. Only one year after its founding, paysafecard also launched in Germany.
2002: further development of paysafecard from card into e-voucher
In 2002, paysafecard became available not only as a physical card, but also as a printed coupon (e-voucher). In 2003, Armin Sageder transferred the CEO position to Michael Müller and with Reinhard Eilmsteiner left the company. From 2004, the payment method could be bought online.
2005: paysafecard received EU funding
In 2005, paysafecard was awarded EU funding (eTEN) for the coming years to help in its international expansion and to promote online payments without a credit card.
2006: expansion in Europe
From 2006, paysafecard began focussing on expansion and launched operational business in Greece, Slovenia, Spain, Great Britain and Slovakia.
2007: transaction milestone
A significant milestone was reached: In 2007, more than 10 million transactions were completed with paysafecard for the first time.
2008 - 2009: e-money licence facilitated an international victory march
2008: EU-wide e-money licence to issue electronic money, FINMA licensed in Switzerland
In 2008, paysafecard acquired an e-money licence issued by the British Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) through its subsidiary Prepaid Services Company Ltd. With this licence, e-money can be issued throughout Europe. paysafecard launched in France, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Belgium.
2009: own Mastercard® licence, expansion
Global expansion also continued. In 2009, paysafecard launched in another nine European countries. Also, Argentina became the first country outside Europe in which paysafecard launched. A Mastercard licence now entitled paysafecard to issue Mastercard products.
2010 - 2012: new countries and products
2010: launches in the USA and Mexico
In 2010, the product portfolio expanded further, with the YUNA Prepaid Mastercard®. This makes it possible to pay anywhere where Mastercard is accepted. And the company also sent out further strong signals: Coinciding with its tenth anniversary, paysafecard was launched in the USA and Mexico, thereby becoming available in 26 countries. In the same year, co-founder Michael Altrichter followed a different path and left paysafecard.
2011: paysafecard app for smartphones
paysafecard launched its free app, which continues to be enriched with new services and features; paysafecard launches in Latvia.
2012: Launches in Turkey, Canada, Croatia, Hungary and Malta
In 2012, paysafecard launched in Turkey, Italy, Croatia, Hungary and Canada. paysafecard was also introduced in Malta.
2013 - today: the leap to world leader
2013: launch of my paysafecard
In 2013, paysafecard successfully launched the online payments account my paysafecard in 22 countries. Purchased paysafecard PINs could now be managed in a personal account. 2013 also saw paysafecard expand into Gibraltar, Australia, Bulgaria and Lithuania.
After 10 years' successful management leadership by Michael Müller, paysafecard was in a great position for the 2013 sale to Skrill. This is still thought to be the largest start-up exit deal that Austria has ever seen. With the sale to Skrill, Michael Müller transferred the management to his brother Udo.
2014: start in Peru and Uruguay
With Peru and Uruguay, the paysafecard portfolio of countries was joined by two burgeoning economies exhibiting the optimal conditions for prepaid online payments.
Building on the existing products, paysafecard now also offered a prepaid Mastercard. The card provides the benefits of prepaid payments combined with the strength of a card accepted all over the world.
my PLUS is an innovative loyalty programme for the online payments account my paysafecard, offering users attractive rewards and exclusive offers.
2015: launches in New Zealand & Kuwait
With the inclusion of the important market of New Zealand, paysafecard expanded its international presence to include a digital information society that exhibits strong internet and smartphone usage, and thereby the ideal conditions for prepaid solutions. As one of the fastest growing markets for prepaid payments in the Middle East Region and boasting a young and internet-adept population, Kuwait also joined the paysafecard world map.
Since 2015, paysafecard has been part of the international Paysafe Group.
2016: launch of paysafecard direct
With paysafecard direct, any customer with a registered my paysafecard online payment account can top up their account with new credit at a local sales outlet using a barcode directly generated on their PC or smartphone.
Furthermore, paysafecard expanded its network into Georgia, thereby reaching one of the strongest economies in the South Caucasus.
2017: launch in the United Arab Emirates and Brazil
By launching in both Brazil and the United Arab Emirates, paysafecard was tapping into important markets. The paysafecard product was now available in 26 currencies at 600,000 sales outlets in 45 countries around the world.
2018: paysafecard became one of the main sponsors of the ESL
As a global ESL Payment Platform Partner for all ESL flagship events, CS:GO league tournaments and several national championships and ESL arenas, paysafecard was confirming its commitment to supporting the eSports community. In addition to regular sponsorship, some global activations offering additional value for the fans were introduced.
2018: Awards won - ALC and Great Place To Work
For what was now the fifth time, paysafecard was chosen in the category "Internationally active company" as one of the best "Austrian Leading Companies". In 2018, there were several top places in the "Great Places to Work" awards to add to the long list of previous awards. paysafecard reached the top 10 in the category "Best Austrian employer" up to 250 staff, and even achieved 1st place in the category "New working world and quality of life." Since 2018, paysafecard has also been rated as one of the "Best Vienna employers 2018" in the regional awards.
2018: paysafecard launched Paysafecash
The launch of this revolutionary new cash payment method made it possible for online shoppers to create QR/barcodes during their purchases and settle up the payments due at the nearest payment point.
Paysafecash had already launched successfully in several European countries and preparations were made for further markets by the end of the year. Using this online cash solution, customers can pay with completely individual amounts, without being restricted to predetermined nominal values.
2018: cooperation with Google Play
Through this partnership, customers can now also pay online with paysafecard in the Google Play Store. The international rollout is starting in Poland and will be extended to all other markets as soon as possible.
This cooperation enables millions of users who have no access to credit cards or online banking or who for security reasons do not wish to disclose their financial data for internet payments to use the online prepaid payment solution.
2018: identification function eID for my paysafecard
Using the mobile digital identification function eID, new customers of the online payment account my paysafecard have the option to register themselves securely using their identity cards and related PIN, on an Android smartphone and the Authada app. These innovative authentication methods work within seconds and without costs for the customer, while complying with the highest security standards.
2018: on a strong foundation
paysafecard has established itself as an important part of the Paysafe Group, which with a valuation of EUR 3.4 billion has two of the largest private equity houses - CVC and Blackstone - as investors.
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