Poker players across the world had 2 major transaction wallets for their online poker accounts – Neteller and Skrill. Now, it seems they are left with only one of the two as Optimal Payments, the parent company of NETELLER has got a nod from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to acquire the Skrill Group. The deal which was announced in March this year is set to close at $1.2 billion merging both the companies.
Prospects of the Deal
After the approval from financial authorities, the deal has been finalized and waiting to be signed on Monday, August 10th. Both the companies own a big market share in the global payment processing business and are expected to generate a combined revenue of $700 per year after the merger. Going further, the unified payment wallet will expand its umbrella to 41 different currencies and over 100 different payment options in at least 22 different languages.
Optimal Payments Chairman, Dennis Jones, said:
We are taking advantage of an exceptional opportunity to acquire a business we know very well which, combined with Optimal Payments, will be a leading UK based online payments business with the essential scale necessary to be highly successful. These opportunities are few and far between. The Board believes this transformational transaction will be earnings accretive for shareholders from the first full fiscal year of ownership, will further diversify our client base and, additionally, will enable us to deliver enhanced services to existing and prospective merchants and customers in all of our global markets.
Effect on Online Poker Players
The end of March’15 saw notification being sent to players withdrawing from Skrill. The E-mails from Skrill read:
In reference to your recent withdrawal request (Trans ID REDACTED) in the amount of $****, which we indicated would be processed as Skrill.
Unfortunately, we are unable to process Skrill Withdrawals at this time. Therefore, since this method is temporarily disabled, we need you to complete the bank wire verification process and upload your banking information online so that we can send your request as a via bank wire.
Please contact our support team as soon as this is complete so we can move forward with your payout via bank wire. Thank you for your understanding and we apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Once the deal is signed, Skrill users are expected to be migrated to NETELLER. Skrill has been a cheaper channel to transfer money, make payment and deposit/withdraw in/from the online poker accounts. Uploading funds to the Skrill accounts costs 0-5.5% while the same costs 0-9.9% if done on NETELLER. Withdrawing money out of Skrill has also been cheaper at just EUR 2.95 per withdrawal into your bank account. Again, if you withdraw money from NETELLER into your bank account, you end up paying EUR 7.50.
Hence with the end of Skrill after the acquisition will impose hiked transaction fee on NETELLER.
Neteller PLC founded in 1999 acquired Netbanx Ltd in 2005 after raising about $70 million in its Initial public offering (IPO) on London Stock Exchange in 2004. After 3 years, Neteller PLC was renamed to Neovia Financial PLC and going further in 2011, the company acquired Montreal, Canada based Optimal Payment. The company was named Optimal Payments PLC and established its headquarters in Douglas, Isle of Man.
Skrill started off as Moneybookers in 2001 in United Kingdom and after a successful operation of 10 years, it was rebranded as Skrill in 2011.
Keep watching this space for further updates on this subject.