Neovia's Net+ cards provide e-wallet customers with cost-effective options for safely shopping online, or withdrawing cash or purchasing at ATMs and retail points of sale that support MasterCard.
The online payments business is a crowded one, and although Neovia (formerly Neteller) was an early entrant to the market, it was burned badly by its experience in serving the US online gambling market. But with that unfortunate situtation behind it, it is now growing a strong customer base for its e-wallet product across Europe.
To maintain and grow market share, online payments service providers are always looking to branch out into new services to attract customers. Neovia hit on an innovative idea last year, with the October launch of a virtual and physical pre-paid card linked to its e-wallet.
The Net+ card is a prepaid MasterCard that is available as both a virtual card for one-time use online, and as a physical card that can be used in ATMs and at retail point of sale. The Net+ cards use Neovias e-wallet as their loading mechanism, and provide a way of withdrawing the money within a customer's e-wallet. The company claims this is the first time an e-wallet has been used as a loading mechanism for both a virtual and physical card.
The Finextra verdict: We expect the competitive nature of online payments to spawn more innovations in 2009, and Neovia's December acquisition of pre-paid card distributor IDT Financial Services Holdings, which has a Gibraltar banking license, should enable it to expand into other financial services.