SOURCE: PaymentOne

August 01, 2006 12:30 ET

Global Online Game Provider SULAKE Selects PaymentOne

Sulake's HABBO to Offer "No Credit Card Required" PhoneBill™ Pay Option

SAN JOSE, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 1, 2006 -- PaymentOne® Corporation today announced that Sulake Corporation, one of the world's fastest growing interactive entertainment companies, has signed an agreement with PaymentOne to provide a variety of safe and secure "no credit card required" payment options for its consumers.

Sulake manages the popular Habbo, a new kind of youth community rooted in a richly colorful, multi-dimensional virtual world. Since its launch in 2000 Habbo has taken the world by storm. In addition to its huge numbers of monthly users (7.1 million in April 2006, Nielsen Netratings), over 53 million Habbo characters have been created so far by the users. To date, Habbo Hotel sites have been launched in 18 countries on five continents.

PaymentOne enables digital service and content providers like Sulake to better serve, reach and monetize more consumers. PaymentOne's PhoneBill™ solution allows over 180 million consumers to conveniently charge digital services to their existing broadband and landline accounts. These "no credit card required" options eliminate the need and significant hurdle for the consumer to provide sensitive credit card information.

"Consumers continue to demand both safety and convenience," said Paul Thind, General Manager, Sulake Inc. "Given our focus in providing our consumers a safe, convenient and enjoyable experience, we want to offer the best array of simple and secure payment options. PaymentOne has unique capabilities, such as broadband billing, which allows us to grow our business and better serve a wider and more diverse set of gamers."

In a recent survey conducted by Javelin Research, 78 percent of consumers said they would "be more inclined to purchase online if given a safer, more convenient payment method than credit card." The numbers among younger consumers aged 18-34 were even higher, with over 81 percent indicating they would buy more. Over 90% of consumers remain highly concerned about making purchases (with credit cards) online according to the most recent UCLA Internet Report.

"Partnering with PaymentOne allows us to supplement our payment method portfolio and extend our market reach," Thind added. "This partnership will allow Sulake to offer additional payment options that appeal directly to our teen customer base."

The attraction of Habbo is based on the camaraderie of community and the opportunity for self-expression and creativity. Teens join by creating a fully customized online character persona called a Habbo. From there, users explore the vast world where they can chat and make friends with other Habbos, play a wide range of games, party and dance by the pool, create and decorate their own fantasy room -- the interactivity and options are virtually limitless.

"As broadband adoption continues, consumers are taking advantage of a broader array of new information, gaming and entertainment services, but at the same time are demanding more safety and convenience when they transact," said Brad Singer, Vice President of Products and Markets at PaymentOne. "With online content overall, and gaming specifically, which is exploding into a multi-billion dollar market, we are seeing tremendous demand from these new services. We are pleased to be working with Sulake, a proven global leader and visionary in the market of online communities."

PaymentOne has generated over $2 billion of incremental revenue for digital merchants.

About Sulake / HABBO

HABBO is a richly colorful, multi-dimensional virtual community and game environment for teens. Users join by creating a fully customized online character called a Habbo. From there, they can explore many public hangouts, play a variety of games, connect with friends, decorate their own rooms, and have fun through creativity and self expression. Since its launch in 2000 by Sulake Corporation, an interactive entertainment company that specializes in developing, publishing and distributing multiplayer social networking communities and games, HABBO sites have been introduced in 18 countries on five continents, with more than 53 million Habbo characters created and more than 7 million unique users each month. The highly trafficked U.S site,, is visited by over 1.7 million unique users per month who spend on average more than three hours a week on the site (Nielsen Net Ratings). Sulake has headquarters in Finland and offices in 17 countries. Currently the company has over 270 employees worldwide. Sulake is extending the Habbo brand to include e.g. mobile games and content, and merchandising and licensing products.

About PaymentOne

PaymentOne Corporation is one of the world's fastest growing online Payment Services Providers (PSPs). Founded in July 2000, PaymentOne has pioneered payment and marketing services that connect digital merchants and network operators and accelerate the adoption of online content and services by over 25%. Based in Silicon Valley, PaymentOne has generated over $2 billion in new digital revenue over the last 36 months for its clients and partners. The company manages a network of over 1000 telecommunication/broadband providers, mobile operators and content partner including leading ISPs, BSPs, Telcos, broadband operators and media companies such as America Online, United Online, NetZero and Time Inc.

To help online merchants attract, convert and retain a wider audience, PaymentOne's integrated suite of revenue optimization services include a unique set of non-credit card payment alternatives, macro and micro payments, identity verification and fraud detection, traditional payment processing, global payments, and a co-marketing distribution network. The company's flagship PhoneBill service provides merchants with access to over 180 million consumers with mobile, broadband and land line accounts.

To learn more about PaymentOne, visit or call 800-747-4028.