Paysafe Divisional CEO Lorenzo Pellegrino spoke exclusively to Gambling Insider about the thinking behind the acquisition and what the future holds for Income Access under the Paysafe umbrella.
We are always looking out for the next opportunity to expand on our capabilities and add great value to our business through acquisitions. At Paysafe we have a consistent track record on this frontLorenzo Pellegrino
What can Income Access bring to the group that it has previously been missing?
Income Access is a capability-enhancing acquisition for Paysafe. It provides Neteller and Skrill with value-added services that extend beyond payments and will make our overall offering ‘stickier’ for merchants. This acquisition is also about gaining access to an enhanced merchant channel for Skrill and Neteller.
How important is it for a payment provider to be involved with gaming companies or gaming affiliates?
Paysafe holds market leadership positions in niche-orientated solutions, of which online gambling is just one. Embedding the established affiliate technology, and the network of affiliates Income Access brings, means we are in the right space to expand and grow globally and into other sectors, as well as having a market-ready offering incorporating technology, relationships, and payment processing in one platform. This is particularly important for Paysafe as we pursue new opportunities in areas such as remittance and e-commerce.
The affiliate channel is becoming a bigger piece of the customer acquisition marketing channels that all operators are using. We see this channel continuing to grow as a new product; technology and search tools are created. Like the surge in mobile traffic over the past few years, which opened up a whole new sector of affiliation partnerships, we will continue to see this channel grow and be a priority resource in the i-gaming space. We are invested in this channel ourselves for the growth of our Skrill and Neteller brands and understand the value that affiliates bring within the marketing mix. It makes perfect sense for us to cement our position in this growing and dynamic channel.
What position do you see Paysafe Group being in after the effects of the Income Access takeover occur?
It embeds our relationship with merchants as a preferred payment service provider for their affiliate payments and allows us to expand our collaborative marketing efforts to drive new customer acquisition. The enhanced merchant channel it brings strengthens our competitive position, among other benefits. It also leverages relationships to expand revenue-driving activity both in and outside the i-gaming space.
What changes, if any, will be implemented to Income Access’ operations following the acquisition?
For the foreseeable future it’s simply business as usual. Nicky Senyard stays on, now in the role of Managing Director, and Sarafina Wolde Gabriel has been promoted to VP Strategy and Operations. The Income Access team, which will maintain its base in Montreal, will benefit from some members of the Paysafe team, including Lee-Ann Johnstone, joining them based from our offices in London, responsible for business development and marketing.
What will be your level of involvement with Income Access and how will Nicky Senyard’s day-to-day role as Managing Director alter from duties as CEO?
Nicky has done a great job establishing and running Income Access to make it the business it has become today. There will be no immediate change in her day-to-day role, but as part of the Paysafe Group she will be collaborating with other areas of our business, identifying synergies and new ways of working together for the benefit of all. Nicky reports to me, so working closely with her, I will be responsible for the overall steering and success of the Income Access group, as I am for the Skrill and Neteller brands and with the management team who support me there.
The Income Access deal follows your acquisition of digital payment company Skrill for €1.1bn last year. To what extent will M & A activity continue to be part of your strategy moving forward?
We are always looking out for the next opportunity to expand on our capabilities and add great value to our business through acquisitions. At Paysafe we have a consistent track record on this front. It’s all about leveraging our global footprint, assimilating businesses into the group quickly and effectively and delivering really well on the product and service front across the niche areas of our payments expertise.