Optimal Group Inc.

Optimal Group Inc.

January 03, 2005 08:01 ET

Optimal Payments Completes Acquisition of Merchant Card Acceptance




JANUARY 3, 2005 - 08:01 ET

Optimal Payments Completes Acquisition of Merchant
Card Acceptance

MONTREAL & QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Jan 3, 2005) -

Optimal Payments Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Optimal Group Inc.
(NASDAQ:OPMR), announced today that it has completed, on January 1st,
2005, its previously announced acquisition of the operating assets of
Merchant Card Acceptance Corp. and affiliated companies, Precision
Management Consulting Inc. and Merchant Card Interactive Corp.
(collectively, "MCA").

MCA is an independent sales organization providing Canadian-based
merchants with credit card and Interac PIN-based debit card acceptance.
MCA is based in Toronto, Ontario and has approximately 40 employees
across Canada, of whom most are in sales.

About Optimal Group Inc.

Optimal Group Inc. is a leading payments and services company with
operations throughout North America and the United Kingdom. Through
Optimal Payments, we provide technology and services that businesses
require to accept credit card, electronic check and direct debit
payments. Optimal Payments processes credit card payments for internet
businesses, mail-order/telephone-order and retail point-of-sale
merchants, as well as processing checks and direct debits online and by
phone. Through Optimal Services Group, we provide depot and field
services to retail, financial services and other third-party accounts.
For more information about Optimal, please visit the company's website
at www.optimalgrp.com.

Forward-Looking Statements:

Statements in this release that are "forward-looking statements"
are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to
risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially
because of factors such as the following: our ability to retain key
personnel is important to our growth and prospects; we may be unable
to find suitable acquisition candidates and may not be able to
successfully integrate businesses that may be acquired into our
operations; our contracts for hardware maintenance and repair
outsourcing services may not be renewed or may be reduced; we rely
upon certain customers for a substantial portion of our services
revenues; our hardware maintenance and repair outsourcing services
business is affected by computer industry trends; our hardware
maintenance and repair outsourcing services business operates in a
market subject to rapid technological change; our per incident
hardware maintenance and repair outsourcing services revenues are
variable; the failure of our systems could negatively impact our
business and our reputation we operate in a highly competitive market
and there is no assurance that we will be able to compete successfully
against current or future competitors; we rely on single suppliers for
some of our inventory; we may not be able to accurately predict our
inventory requirements; our hardware maintenance and repair
outsourcing services business may be subject to unforeseen
difficulties in managing customers' equipment; our hardware
maintenance and repair outsourcing services business may fail to price
fixed fee contracts accurately; our payments business is at risk of
loss due to fraud and disputes; our payments business may not be able
to safeguard against security and privacy breaches in our electronic
transactions; our payment system might be used for illegal or improper
purposes; we must comply with credit card and check clearing
association rules and practices which could impose additional costs
and burdens on our payments business; we may not be able to develop
new products that are accepted by our customers; the failure of our
systems, the systems of third parties or the internet could negatively
impact our business systems or our reputation; the legal status of
internet gaming is uncertain and future regulation may make it costly
or impossible to continue processing for gaming merchants; we face
uncertainties with regard to lawsuits, regulations and similar
matters; increasing government regulation of internet commerce could
make it more costly or difficult to continue our payments business; we
rely on strategic relationships and suppliers; it may be costly and/or
time-consuming to enforce our rights with respect to assets held in
foreign jurisdictions; our ability to protect our intellectual
property is key to the future growth of our payments business; we
operate in a competitive market for our products and services; we rely
upon independent sales agents to retain and acquire our customers our
business systems are based on sophisticated technology which may be
negatively affected by technological defects and product development
delays; our payments business relies upon encryption technology to
conduct secure electronic commerce transactions; the ability of our
payments business to process electronic transactions depends on bank
processing and credit card systems; we are subject to exchange rate
fluctuations between the U.S. and Canadian dollars; we may be subject
to liability or business interruption as a result of unauthorized
disclosure of merchant and cardholder data that we store; our business
is subject to fluctuations in general business conditions; we may be
subject to additional litigation stemming from our operation of the
U-Scan self-checkout business.
For further information regarding risks and uncertainties
associated with our business, please refer to the "Management's
Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of
Operations", "Legal Proceedings" and "Forward Looking Statements"
sections of our annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on
Form 10-Q, filed with the SEC.
All information in this release is as of January 3, 2005. We
undertake no duty to update any forward-looking statement to conform
the statement to actual results or changes in our expectations.


Contact Information

    Optimal Group Inc.
    David Schwartz, 514-733-5403 ext. 1429