From Austrian start-up to one of the international market leaders for eCash
Since its launch in 2000, paysafecard has been making it possible for people to pay online as safely as they would with cash. It has since expanded into 50 markets across the world and has become a market leader in prepaid and eCash solutions and part of leading specialized payments platform Paysafe.
2000 – 2007: The early years
2000-2001: paysafecard launches in Austria and Germany
Four friends – Armin Sageder as CEO, Michael Müller, Reinhard Eilmsteiner and Michael Altrichter – join together in 2000 with a vision of "cash for the internet" and develop paysafecard. Udo Müller and Joze Rant – who are part of the current management, are 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 paysafecard code at checkout in an online shop. Only one year after its founding, paysafecard also launches in Germany.
2002: Further development of paysafecard from card to e-voucher
In 2002, paysafecard becomes available not only as a physical card, but also as a printed coupon (e- voucher). In 2003, Reinhard Eilmsteiner leaves the company and Armin Sageder transfers the CEO position to Michael Müller and leaves as well. Starting in 2004, the payment solution becomes available for purchase online.
2005-2007: Expansion in Europe
In 2005, paysafecard is awarded EU funding (eTEN) for the coming years to help in its international expansion and to promote online payments without a credit card.
2006, paysafecard launches operations in Greece, Slovenia, Spain, Great Britain and Slovakia and reaches a significant milestone in 2007 with more than 10 million transactions completed with paysafecard for the first time.
2007 – 2014: New countries and products
2008 – 2009: Important licenses facilitates an international victory march
In 2008, paysafecard acquires an e-money license issued by the British Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as well as the FINMA license in Switzerland. With these licenses, e-money can be issued throughout Europe. A Mastercard® license in 2009 now entitles paysafecard to issue Mastercard® products. paysafecard launches in 16 additional European countries as well as Argentina as the first country outside of Europe.
2010 – 2012: New countries and products
In 2010, the product portfolio expands further with the YUNA Prepaid Mastercard®. This makes it possible to pay anywhere where Mastercard® is accepted. And the company celebrates additional milestones: Coinciding with its tenth anniversary, paysafecard launches in the US and Mexico, becoming available in 26 countries. In the same year, co-founder Michael Altrichter leaves paysafecard to take up a new adventure.
In 2012, paysafecard launches in Turkey, Italy, Croatia, Hungary and Canada. paysafecard is also introduced in Malta.
2013: Launch of paysafecard account
In 2013, paysafecard successfully launches its online payments account in 22 countries. Purchased paysafecard codes can now be managed in a personal account. 2013 also sees paysafecard expand into Gibraltar, Australia, Bulgaria and Lithuania.
After 10 years of successful leadership by Michael Müller, paysafecard is 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 transfers the management to his brother Udo.
In 2013, paysafecard successfully launches its online payments account in 22 countries. Purchased paysafecard codes can now be managed in a personal account. Building on the existing products, paysafecard now also offers a prepaid Mastercard®. The card provides the benefits of prepaid payments combined with the strength of a card accepted all over the world.
2013 also sees paysafecard expand into Gibraltar, Australia, Bulgaria and Lithuania, in 2014 into Peru and Uruguay and in 2015 into New Zealand and Kuwait.
In 2015, paysafecard becomes part of the leading specialized payments platform Paysafe.
2015 – Today: Gaining market leadership
2017: launches in the United Arab Emirates and Brazil
By launching in both Brazil and the United Arab Emirates, paysafecard is tapping into important markets. The paysafecard product is now available in 26 currencies at 600,000 sales outlets in 45 countries around the world.
2018: paysafecard becomes one of the main sponsors of 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 confirms its commitment to supporting the esports community. In addition to regular sponsorships, some global activations offering additional value for the fans are introduced.
2018: paysafecard launches Paysafecash
The revolutionary new eCash payment method Paysafecash launches successfully in several European countries. This online cash solution makes it possible for online shoppers to create barcodes during checkout at participating merchants and settle the payments due at the nearest payment point. Furthermore, it allows customers to pay concrete amounts without being restricted to prepaid nominal values.
2018: Cooperation with Google
Through this partnership, customers can now pay online with paysafecard in the Google Play Store. The international rollout starts in Poland and continues to expand into other markets.
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.
2019: Cooperations with strong partners
2019 sees new cooperations with major brands such as YouTube Premium, Samsung, Apple and Amazon. Through these partnerships, customers can now access the wide variety of entertainment offerings by using paysafecard or Paysafecash for payments.
2019: Paysafecash gains more traction
In 2019, Paysafecash is integrated with PaySimply in Canada, which allows consumers to pay their individual CR tax or other bills using cash. In the UK, Paysafecash is integrated at 28,000 PayPoint stores to allow customers to pay for online purchases using cash. In the U.S., Paysafecash launches with Skrill as the first merchant to integrate it as a cash upload method.
2019-2020: International expansion continues
In the course of 2019, Paysafe’s eCash solutions paysafecard and Paysafecash are expanding into new territories. While Paysafecash launches in Greece and Switzerland, paysafecard is introduced in Serbia and Iceland. In the course of 2020, paysafecard expands into Paraguay while Paysafecash is introduced in Cyprus, Latvia, Bulgaria, Mexico and the US. Furthermore, Paysafe acquires Openbucks to expand its eCash presence in the U.S.
2020: Paysafecash as a bridge to digital banking
Paysafecash partners with digital bank Monese to provide customers a cash deposit option for their bank accounts, building a bridge between cash and digital banking. The partnership is rolled out in a number of European countries throughout the year.
2020: Another cooperation with a tech giant
paysafecard finishes 2020 with a major success, becoming available as the online cash payment solution for Microsoft customers shopping in Microsoft Store online and on Xbox.com across 22 countries.
2021: A big year for Paysafecash
In 2021, Paysafe goes public, trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the Ticker PSFE. In the same year Paysafe acquires two major players in eCash to further strengthen its position in Europe and Latin America. The acquisition of PagoEfectivo, a market-leading, Peru-based alternative payments platform, provides a strategic foothold in Latin America, one of the world’s fastest growing online markets where merchants and consumers alike are demonstrating an increased appetite for alternative cash-based payment methods and open banking solutions. The acquisition of viafintech, a leading German fintech company offering one of the largest bank-independent alternative infrastructures in Europe, marks the start of an exciting new chapter of growth in Germany and other important markets.
Meanwhile, Paysafecash gains significant traction in the US as a payment method promoting financial inclusion. At the beginning of the year, Paysafecash is integrated for cash-based online rent payments with RentMoola and Home365. It’s integration with REPAY, a leading provider of vertically-integrated payment solutions in the US, launches Paysafecash as a payment solution for the lending industry. In partnership with IntelliPay, Paysafecash is integrated as a cash-based payment option for industries such as property management, government services, utilities, non-profit, healthcare and education.
Meanwhile in Europe, Paysafecash became an online cash payment solution for loans and insurance products in partnership with Provema in Poland. In Austria, it is integrated as a payment option for donations for the children’s charity Verein Kinderhilfswerk, and in Switzerland it becomes available for QR-code-based bill payments in partnership with SweePay.