10 2019 | NEWS
paysafecard goes Iceland
Why is paysafecard setting up its own distribution network in Iceland: a country which was hit extremely hard by the economic crisis in 2009 and only has very few inhabitants? The reason is the very positive economic development in recent years. Since 2015 the gross domestic products have regularly grown by more than 4% according to the World Bank, while the unemployment rate is low and productivity is high. Per capita, the GDP is at nearly USD 68,000, so purchasing power is above-average. Furthermore, Iceland is one of the countries with the best Internet penetration in the world. 98% of households are connected to the Internet; the prevalence of mobile broadband devices is even higher, at 114%.
No wonder the number of gamers is high. Only in February, a Gallup poll concluded that two out of three Icelanders play on a regular basis. Half of these use their smartphone for this, a quarter play on tablets and 27% have a console. Nearly half (41%) play each week, which results in 54 minutes, when extrapolated, during which each gamer is immersed in the world of games each day. "We see very good revenue potential here for paysafecard, because most of the gamers are too young to own a credit card. They can now use paysafecard for such things as in-app purchases", comments Martin Penzes, Head of International Expansion at paysafecard, on the results of the survey. Furthermore, paysafecard is currently a very well established and respected brand in the games community worldwide.
eCommerce on the rise
But eCommerce also plays a role in Iceland which should not be underestimated. As Iceland is an island with very little local industrial production, international eCommerce platforms such as AliExpress are becoming increasingly popular, particularly for consumer goods. But the Icelanders also shop online from vendors from European countries and the USA. For the American market there is even an Icelandic online service, shopusa.is, which takes care of the low-cost shipping of US products purchased online.
"With paysafecard, we have the advantage that our brand is already very well-known, particularly in the northern countries such as Sweden, Denmark or Norway. This also spreads to Iceland, because there have traditionally been close ties to the northern neighbours", explains Penzes: "Many of the merchants who offer paysafecard, are very popular in Northern Europe. Their feedback also motivated us to go live in Iceland."
More tourists than inhabitants
You can buy paysafecard across Iceland in 20 sales outlets which include stores from "Kvikk", "10-11" and "Kvosin" supermarkets. Iceland is now a top tourist destination. If in 2005 there were just 374,000 international visitors, by 2015 there were nearly 1.3 million and in 2017 there were even 2.2 million. Therefore, six times as many guests visit Iceland than there are inhabitants. Two years ago, it generated revenues of three billion dollars from this, which corresponds to 12.3% of GDP. "Many of these tourists are already paysafecard customers, particularly when they come from northern neighbouring countries", says Martin Penzes: "We now intend to give this very important target group the opportunity to pay online with paysafecard, also in Iceland itself."
The same also applies to many employees from EU countries, who are more and more frequently living at least temporarily in the country and are already familiar with paysafecard from their home countries. All of the target groups referred to, can now buy vouchers with nominal values of 1,500, 3,000, 6,000 and 12,000 Icelandic Króna in the widely spread "Kvikk", "10-11" and "Kvosin" stores. The maximum number of PINs that can be combined is limited to ten, with the available MIDs being Euros and US dollars. The paysafecard team has activated all of the existing merchants automatically for Iceland. No technical adaptations need to be made for this.
Please contact your Account Manager if you still have questions or would like to know more about the current launch.