Ukash, the fast growing global e-commerce payment solution, has today announced that Canada will be the first country in North America to make Ukash e-cash available to consumers.
Through a deal with VendTek Systems Inc under its brand Now Prepay, Ukash will be available from 4,000 point of sale terminals in Ontario, before expanding to a total of 15,000 outlets across Canada by the end of the year.
Having extended its global footprint to Australia in August 2009 and South America earlier this month in a continued effort to bring easy, controlled and anonymous online cash payments to everyone including those without credit or debit cards from anywhere in the world; Ukash is now making its entry into the North American market where there are over 70 million unbanked consumers.
With the continued growth of online shopping in Canada and industry reports revealing that Canadians placed almost $12.8 billion worth of orders in 2007 , the need for a range of alternative payment solutions to support consumers presents an opportunity for Ukash to tap into digitally excluded consumers as well as those with concerns about online fraud.
Mark Chirnside, chief executive officer, Ukash said: "North America is a territory with huge potential for the Ukash proposition. High rates of unbanked consumers at this time, largely due to poor credit history and immigrants unable to get bank accounts, means that there is a growing number of cash consumers who want to spend online. Canada is a key territory for the Ukash proposition and working with Now Prepay will give us the prominence needed to expand our availability across Canada before launching in other countries across the Americas."
Doug Buchanan, President of VendTek said,"Ukash offers an electronic cash payment source and an important solution for people who are looking for an alternative to credit cards. We have been interested in an on-line payment product for our network and Ukash has an e-commerce payment solution that is an excellent fit with our network. We are very excited to partner with them to enable money transfer services over the Now Prepay network in Canadada."
Ukash vouchers, which allow consumers to shop, pay and play online using cash, will be available from 15,000 point of sale terminals across Canada including independent convenience stores and gas stations. Vouchers will be available in 25, 50, 75, 100, 150 denominations of Canadian dollars. Ukash is particularly popular with consumers who do not have access to credit and debit cards or those that are fearful of online fraud. Users receive a voucher containing a 19-digit code which can be used to pay at thousands of online merchants.