The new corporate client for the pre-paid card programme announced on 9 July 2019, continue with the production of their cards, however this is behind the original timetable as designs for cards and related services are waiting for card scheme commercial approvals. To date, no cards had been issued to end-users under this programme.
Good progress has been made with the roll out of new services for EUR, GBP and USD based accounts beginning the week commencing 16 September. These accounts will be able to be linked with the pre-paid card environment bringing further functionality and services such as SEPA and faster payments to existing and new clients.
The Company has account applications for pre-paid cards in progress for corporate clients and hopes to issue up to 20,000 cards by the end of November 2019.
Two further large-scale card programmes are in discussion and a smaller programme for 6,000 cardholders is approaching launch.
Merchant services have seen an increase in applications after the return from the summer break to provide payment gateway services both directly and via partnership programmes. However, no traffic is currently being processed due to issues with the nature of traffic from clients onboarded during July and August
The Lottery business remains on target to make a positive operating contribution to the Group for the second half of the year to 31 January 2020. There is no update for PPS Blockchain Ltd, the lottery joint venture announced on 8 March 2019.
Graeme Paton, the Group CEO commented, “We are disappointed that the pre-paid card programme and the onboarding of new merchant traffic are both running behind schedule, but we remain confident that they will be successful. However, we have not been sitting still and have made operational progress in a number of areas. Working closely with partners is an important part of developing the merchant service offering as the impact of regulatory uncertainty across Europe means that we need a panel of acquiring banks both in Europe and around the world to continue to place our client’s business. Being able to offer those Merchant Services clients settlement accounts means we can provide faster settlements and offers, and additional income opportunities form account fees and FX margins.”
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