New travel pre-paid card service

Contis Group has started a £2m investment programme. They supply banking online and pre-paid card services to the major retail and banking brands. The firm, based in Skipton, was founded in 2008 and specialises in three specific products: company account cards, gift cards and prepaid Visas.

Mike Fromant, the managing director, said the capital came from various shareholders and would be used to further integrate all three products. He also mentioned that the capital would be used in both their India and UK operations ensuring Contis is positioned best to take advantage of the cutting edge developments in payment processing. This also ensures that they can take advantage of the opportunities that are presented by new advances in smartphone and cloud computing technology.

A smartphone app is being created by the company that will allow customers to top up a prepaid travel card on their mobile device. Since the company launched operations, shareholders have invested more than £7m.

The Contis strategy is to grow through their acquisitions and investments and has committed more than £7m in only three years said Mr. Fromant. This ensures they keep themselves at the leading edge of solutions for financial services.

Peter Cox the executive chairman founded Contis Group. The Group has 25 staff in Skipton and another 30 in India at their technology development centre. There current turnover is £396,000 and is forecast to reach a minimum of £2m before March 2012. Until 2017 the prepaid sector is expected to grow with the UK and is estimated to increase to a 25% share of the entire European market.

Mr. Fromant says that the Contis Group is different from their competitors because they own all of the components of technology that they produce. The majority of its competitors do not use their own applications, they outsource to others that specialise in that. They not only have the ability to put money on cards and take them off, but can utilise a variety of different ways to load funds to the account and spend money, which include standing orders or (BACS) bank automated transactions.

One of Contis’ goals over the next year is to increase their share of the market of gift cards. They at present offer gift cards for companies such as Empire Cinemas and Pizza Express which retailers on high street sell. Mr. Fromant says there are many retailers that have gift cards and they want to expand that part of the business to take on the competition.

There is also the potential of growth in the pre-paid credit card sector which includes the launching of its own card. The have a licence to provide prepaid Visa cards across Europe in 28 countries. They are also looking into the possibilities of growth in South Africa.

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