2013 Paybefore Awards Europe: Breakout Company of the Year (June 2013)
The organization that stood out from the crowd in 2012 to make a positive, game-changing difference in the prepaid and/or emerging payments environment in the U.K. and Europe.
Best in Category: Wave Crest Group Limited
One-stop shop for diverse payment needs, including complex cross-border payments, multilanguage and multicurrency solutions. Significant program launches in 2012 and transaction volume increases.
In little more than four years, Gibraltar-based Wave Crest has become a global payments innovator, growing its transaction volume considerably by partnering with massive companies, some of which have volumes above $100 million for one program.
The company offers payment products that span prepaid, mobile, acquiring and reconciliation and offers robust fraud-mitigation tools. As an e-money issuer and principal member of Visa and MasterCard, Wave Crest issues products across Europe, North America and Asia and has built a next-generation payments platform that helps clients offer payments solutions in multiple currencies, languages and geographies.
In 2012, Wave Crest supported many launches in Europe, including a cross-border commission program with the Electronic Payments Association and the U.K.’s first mobile wallet—another winner, O2 Wallet. Its flagship program MyMonedero is an e-wallet that includes a virtual prepaid MasterCard available across the EU. MyMonedero is a funding option for online gaming sites as well as a means to collect winnings, make purchases and withdraw funds from ATMs worldwide. Wave Crest offers end-to-end program management to its customers providing “off the shelf” and customized prepaid solutions.
With a focus on delivering solutions that can operate on a global scale, while meeting clients’ local preferences and geography-based rules and regulations, Wave Crest enables corporate clients to solve their payments problems effectively through a single provider relationship that’s linked to multiple vendors locally and internationally.
One of the few unanimous decisions of the judges, Wave Crest was selected Best in Category for its significant reach and influence in the innovation of payments in Europe and globally.
Winner: Prepaid Financial Services
In 2012, Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) hit many milestones. The company, which was founded in 2008, became an e-money issuer as well as a principal member of Visa and MasterCard and an acquirer for both networks.
Its client portfolio tripled in size and it expanded from six to nine countries, with eight more countries going live in Q1 2013. With a passported e-money license, PFS now can issue e-money in 32 countries across SEPA and has expanded its reload network to more than 240,000 locations across the UK and Europe.
Growth is likely to continue in 2013 for PFS, which entered a strategic partnership with Deutsche Card Services to launch new programs throughout Europe and has been appointed under the Partners in Prepaid program to work with MasterCard in the Middle East and Africa.
What may be most surprising about PFS’s rise to prominence is that it has been profitable from year 1 and has become so with no external funding.
The company’s focus on innovation (see Brent Council Direct Payments Initiative, which also won a Paybefore Award Europe) combined with its ability to provide BIN sponsorship, program management, acquiring and vouchers—puts PFS in a strategic position to expand the reach of prepaid programs in Europe and beyond.
Winner: Stored Value Solutions
Stored Value Solutions (SVS) is a prepaid pioneer that continues to demonstrate its commitment to the global expansion of the industry, particularly in Europe, where it supports clients in 28 countries. The 21-year-old company has learned a lot about prepaid during its tenure in the industry and supports clients with its expertise and commitment to ongoing research. In 2012, the company launched a new marketing audit initiative to help clients maximize their marketing efforts and realize the full potential of their prepaid programs. In addition, account managers are supported with weekly updates on a range of key topics from the psychology of girting and gift cards to the popularity of gift cards during the festive season.
To further enhance its client service, SVS also established an international production office in 2012, which coordinates and manages all card production—across 45 countries—ensuring on-time delivery of high quality production to all clients. The company, which provides closed- open- and restricted-loop prepaid cards to many top retailers, also developed a mobile app to help strengthen retail loyalty programs and partnered with companies, such as Wrapp and Gyft that are helping the industry leverage the social and mobile channels.
Through active participation in trade groups, including the UKGCVA, Incentive Marketing Association and the Polish Gift Card Association to name a few, SVS has taken a leadership role in the development of prepaid, loyalty and mobile applications throughout Europe and globally.