Optimal Eyes Expansion with Vantiv, MasterCard Deals

Online payments provider Optimal Payments Ltd. established the foundation for expanding its payment gateways to U.S. merchants and prepaid business in Europe with separate deals announced this week.

London-based Optimal entered a processing agreement with Cincinnati-based Vantiv Inc. that will allow Optimal to offer online gateways to U.S. merchants, which include Visa and MasterCard payment methods.

The relationship combines Optimal’s international commerce and risk management software with Vantiv’s processing scale, service and reputation in the U.S. market, the companies stated in a press release.

“Vantiv and Optimal have developed a strong relationship, and this agreement provides a great opportunity for us to extend our offering by providing our best of breed gateway technologies and related services to merchants in the U.S.,” says Danny Chazonoff, chief operating officer of Optimal Payments.

Optimal views the potential growth of the gaming market in the U.S. as an area in which the company will utilize its relationship with Vantiv, Chazonoff says.

The agreement with Optimal adds new distribution channels for Vantiv and helps Optimal expand its U.S. presence, says Donald Boeding, president of merchant services at Vantiv.

“Vantiv continues to capitalize on its scale and single-integrated processing platform by aligning with providers that are highly complementary to our position in the market,” Boeding says.

In addition, Optimal signed a five-year deal with MasterCard Inc. to boost use of a prepaid card Optimal began issuing in November, the companies said.

Optimal now issues the Net+ MasterCard prepaid card to go along with its branded prepaid MasterCard that complements its Neteller e-wallet in the U.K. The Neteller wallet also utilizes a virtual prepaid MasterCard.

The addition of the Net+ card allows Optimal to seek more commercial customers, while providing cardholders with extra tools for money transfers as well as spending in eight currencies at any location MasterCard is accepted, the companies said in a press release.

MasterCard believes Europe represents one of the fastest growing markets for prepaid cards, and the strategic partnership agreement with Optimal illustrates the brand’s commitment to serve that market, Marion King, president of MasterCard in the U.K. and Ireland, stated in the release.

Issuing the Net+ prepaid card represents the first step for his company “in building out our business in prepaid,” Chazonoff says.