Estonian Post has acquired a 51% stake in a start-up company offering online payment solutions.
The national postal operator in the Baltic Republic said taking the majority share of Maksekeskus (Payment Centre) AS would give its logistics business the chance to offer e-commerce merchants a payment solution for all the Baltic States. Payment Centre allows online web stores to use payment options with six banks operating in Estonia through a single contract.
Estonian Post – Eesti Post – said its partners were Swedbank, SEB, Danske Bank, Nordea Pank, LHV and Krediidipank. Initially the service will be offered in Estonia and shortly it will be expanded to Latvia and Lithuania.
“Eesti Post is very interested in reviving e-commerce in the Baltic States, because online traders contribute the most to volumes in Post24 parcel lockers,” said Estonian Post’s board member Mait Sooaru.“Through Payment Centre Eesti Post is able to provide traders with additional value by combining logistics and invoicing into one.”
Estonian Post said its Payment Centre was the last link in the chain for it to offer web merchants a full service, from search engine solutions to the delivery of goods.
The company said to start an e-business in any of the three Baltic States, all customers needed was a good business idea, product or service and the initial capital. Communication with customers could be “fully arranged” through Estonian Post.
“For traders, the greatest benefit arising from the Payment Centre is that they no longer have to enter into multiple contracts and make several interfaces for different bank links,” said Sooaru. “With the Payment Centre only one interface is needed, which will enable to formalise payments through six banks operating in Estonia.”
According to Payment Centre chief executive Mihkel Karu, the service also means web merchants can offer credit card payments and back payments. “It is very convenient for online traders to offer their customers an option for back payments and payments with a credit card via our Payment Centre. This will help local online stores expand internationally.”
Estonian Post said Payment Centre was the only solution mediating banks’ e-payments systems that has received an activity licence from the Financial Supervision Authority, laying out its security and trust credentials.