NETeller expands into Asia Pacific region

Gotta Get that Paper, Dog
NETeller invests millions to expand into Asia Pacific market.

True to its plan of seeking more markets outside of North America, NETeller Plc. recently announced it had acquired stake in Centricom Pty Limited, which operates a payment platform in Australia and New Zealand.

NETeller will pay $5 million AUD to have a strategic stake in Centricom, and the company will get to appoint one director to the Centricom board.

According to a press release, a key point of the investment is that it will extend NETeller's expertise as a payments hub for its merchants in the Asia Pacific region.

Centricom is based in Melbourne, Australia, and provides a range of Web-based transaction services, which include online payments, straight-through processing, reconciliation and advanced transaction integration solutions.

NETeller's Australian customers had already been introduced to Centricom's POLi service in January through an existing partnership. The POLi system allows customers to make payments online from their existing Internet banking service without disclosing their bank or credit card details to the merchant.

It is touted by NETeller as a safe and convenient method of payment direct from a customer's bank account.

"We are pleased to cement our existing relationship with Centricom through this investment," said Ron Martin, NETeller president and CEO.

"We look forward to working with Centricom to drive the business through its next phase of growth. NETeller will continue to seek out strategic relationships with companies such as Centricom who offer compelling products and services that enhance our innovative online payment solutions to our global customers and merchants."

Centricom is backed by the Jagen Group, an international investment group with interests across a broad range of industries in the United States, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. Jagen will continue to own the majority shareholding in Centricom after the NETeller investment.

"We welcome the investment from NETeller as a milestone in our development, which will enable us to roll out the POLi service to more merchants and build further consumer brand awareness," said Simon Warner, Centricom managing director.

"This partnership is further evidence that Centricom is serious about being the major provider of online payments in Australia, New Zealand and beyond."

Centricom was launched in October 2004 and has been steadily building its online payment business ever since. The Poli service now operates in Australia, New Zealand and in South Africa with its partner ATM Solutions.

NETeller has recently had troubles in the United States because of the online gambling transactions it allowed for its U.S. customers. The company has since shut down online gambling transactions for U.S. residents and settled its legal troubles with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Now the company is looking to recover from the loss of such a large online poker and casino user market by expanding into other areas.

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