Computop celebrates 25 years in payments from start-up to e-commerce market leader

Global payment service provider, Computop, is this month celebrating a quarter of a century since it was first established.

In 1997 when online commerce was still in its infancy, secure payment was a matter of luck, which prompted Computop founders Frank Arnoldt and Ralf Gladis to devise a secure and simple method of payment for the growing e-commerce sector. 25 years later, the company is now at the forefront of the industry and has a market share of over 30% in its native Germany.

Computop’s growth is entirely organic. While other PSPs (Payment Service Providers) have been sold off several times, Computop is still owned by the two founders and now employs an international team of 160 “payment people” from over 30 nations. In addition to its headquarters in Bamberg, Computop’s expansion since 2010 has seen the opening of offices in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt as well as in the USA, China and Great Britain.

Computop was an early adopter of the omnichannel approach supported by a uniform payment platform: In addition to online and mobile payments, Computop Paygate also handles POS payments in bricks-and-mortar retail for Sixt and Cewe, for example, and received approval for girocard network operations in 2019 to complete its retail offering in Germany. The company is well placed to serve the current trend for customised payments, particularly amongst large retailers and industrial companies and mobility providers. Its exclusively in-house development programme means that the Paygate payment platform is ideally equipped to develop individual payment solutions that fit into the software landscape of its customers.

Over 350 payment types from all over the world are available in Computop Paygate, which transferred payments worth USD 36 billion in 2021. The number of Paygate customers is currently growing by 200 to 300 per month. The platform is large enough to support more than ten times that workload and has already handled up to 5 million transactions in one day at peak times, making it highly future-proof. Because payment transactions do not stand still – Industry 4.0 with unit-cost-related payment processes; billing at e-charging stations; or “Tap & Go”, the card-based payment process in public transport – new developments will introduce a vast increase in transactions compared with those we see in the e-commerce sector today. Computop is also already serving these new business models.

Ralf Gladis, co-founder and CEO of Computop, emphasises: “First, we helped to establish payment in e-commerce from the very beginning, now we support digitalisation in retail and industry and help our customers to make payment a fast, secure and smooth process. Thanks to our own technology and in-house developers, we adapt payment processing to the processes of our large and often international customers. And unlike competitors, who often only sell retailers their own products, Computop customers can easily and flexibly switch to the most advantageous financial partners.”


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