MOL upbeat on online games

PETALING JAYA: Electronic payment service provider MOL AccessPortal Bhd (MOL) sees huge potential in the online games market and it will continue to expand its distribution channel to sustain its leadership in the market.

The company claims to hold between 60% and 70% of the online games payment market.

President and chief executive officer Ganesh Kumar Bangah said the online games industry locally was estimated to be worth about RM100mil currently and research firm IDC forecast the local market would be worth US$85mil (RM302.84mil) by year 2012.

“We work with most of the games publishers in Malaysia,” he told StarBiz in an interview recently, adding that the company controlled most of the distribution channels locally for online games payment.

The company has over 15,000 distribution channels in Malaysia, which include cyber cafes, 7-Eleven stores, Popular book stores and third-party terminals like e-Bay.

Its transactions are also supported by online bank transactions and credit cards.

Ganesh said IDC projected that the online games market in South-East Asia would be worth US$300mil by 2012 and MOL targeted to capture at least 25% of that through its vast distribution channels. It has more than 500,000 payment channels across 75 countries and it is linked with 65 online banks.

He said MOL was constantly adding new payment channels, worked with new online banks and addressed new countries, adding that it had a team of business development personnel who worked on expanding the business.

“Our games payment business contributed 15% to revenue for the financial year ended June 30, 2008 (FY08) but it contributed about 60% to net profit,” he said.

Ganesh said the company expected to post a revenue of between RM350mil and RM360mil this year, driven by the growth in online micro transactions and the reload cards business.

Its revenue for FY08 was RM250mil with the Malaysian market contributing 95%. The company is looking for equal contribution from Malaysia and the overseas market by FY12.

MOL has three core products for its payment business – MOLePoints, MOLeTopUp and MOL Freedom. MOLePoints is an online payment system for content and services. MOLeTopUp is a terminal infrastructure that is rolled out in 7-Eleven and Popular stores, while MOL Freedom is its prepaid payment card product.

Ganesh said the media business was its second core business, where it had rolled out free WiFi in 200 food and beverage outlets like Starbucks and Kenny Rogers from January.

“Users have to watch a 15-second advertisement before they can access the WiFi,” he said, adding that the company planned to expand its coverage to another 200 outlets with other partners this year.

MOL was incorporated in Malaysia in 2000 and was listed on the Mesdaq market of Bursa Malaysia in 2003. The company was taken private in February last year.

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