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Skrill And Optimal Payments Announce Mega Merger

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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€1.1bn deal could finally create a European rival to PayPal

Two of the largest digital wallet providers have announced a takeover deal which could see more customers than ever before able to use mobile payments.

Optimal Payments, based in Canada but listed on London’s AIM market, has revealed it is looking to purchase e-wallet provider Skrill for €1.1bn, creating a combined offering which will include over a hundred payment types in 22 languages and 41 currencies around the world.

The deal, which should close by the third quarter of the year, is subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals, but will see the new combined company join the FTSE 250 index.

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London-based Skrill currently offers businesses access to direct payment processing via 100 payment options in 200 countries and territories and 40 currencies. The company currently boasts over 36 million customers across the world, including over 156,000 businesses.

“Optimal Payments, the provider of payment solutions and stored value products, has entered into an agreement to acquire Skrill Group,” a Skrill spokesperson told TechWeekEurope, “The transaction is still subject to the completion of a number of conditions, including the approvals of Optimal Payments shareholders and the UK financial services regulator.  Any further details can be found in Optimal Payment’s website, which you can find here.”

Optimal Payments is best known for its Neteller digital wallet service, which also operates in over 200 countries around the world.

“Over the past four years, we have successfully delivered significant growth in revenues and earnings for our shareholders,” Joel Leonoff, president & CEO, Optimal Payments, said in a statement.

“This growth resulted from executing our strategy to generate high levels of organic growth and to supplement this with accretive acquisitions.  The acquisition of Skrill will create a global tech champion in the fast growing digital payments space and we believe represents a transformational leap forward that greatly accelerates our strategic plan.”

“The Optimal Payments management team is extremely excited about the future prospects for the Company.”

Research by analyst firm Juniper Research found that more than 1.6 billion payments across the world were completed using a smartphone or tablet this year, thanks to a surge in consumers using the devices for banking, money transfer and online shopping services.

This figure is set to continue growing over the next few years as consumer use continues to rise, before topping the two billion transactions a year mark by 2017.

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