Ukash, an online payment system, will no longer be available from August 31 as it is being replaced by paysafecard.
A message on the Ukash website informs users that “Ukash is getting bigger, Ukash is expanding, Ukash is changing to paysafecard” and that the Ukash vouchers will only be available in Great Britain until August 31, 2015. Unused Ukash vouchers can only be redeemed until October 31, 2015.
Both paysafecard and Ukash are companies owned by online payment giant, Skill, who acquired paysafecard in February 2013 and then Ukash in April 2015.
Udo Müller, paysafecard’s chief executive, said of the changes: “The acquisition of Ukash has given us the opportunity to expand the choice for consumers wanting to make secure online payments. We have brought together the best of the prepaid technologies from both Ukash and paysafecard to give consumers a safe and easy way to make online payments and we are now embarking on a nationwide campaign to ensure the retailers and users are aware of the changes taking place.”
When Skrill completed the acquisition of Ukash earlier this year, Skrill chief executive, David Sear, said: “Ukash is a shining example of British business. This is an exciting acquisition that will considerably extend our reach in the high-growth prepayment market, enabling us to support consumers and online businesses alike with the world's largest online cash replacement payment method.”
Sear hinted that the Ukash brand would be absorbed by paysafecard when he ended that press release with the words: “As we move towards out combination with Optimal Payments, paysafecard will continue to be a key part of our strategy and of our offering to our customers.”
The paysafecard brand is well-established throughout Europe and is a popular deposit method for online poker players. Launched in 2000, paysafecard is now distributed at more than 480,000 outlets across 39 countries. In 2014, the number of paysafecard transaction increased by 26% to more than 86 million.
In March 2015, Optimal Payments, the group behind online payment processor Neteller, announced it was to purchase Skrill for approximately €1.1 billion.