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Recharge Takes on Gaming Card Market With Startselect Acquisition

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Prepaid payments platform Recharge has acquired digital gift card and gaming card firm Startselect.

The deal positions Recharge to generate 750 million euros (nearly $800 million) in annual sales next year, the company said in a Thursday (Sept. 14) press release.

“Consolidation has been a theme in FinTech in the recent period, and I have no doubt in the value of this combination for our company,” Recharge CEO Günther Vogelpoel said in the release. “I’m also excited to welcome the Startselect team to the Recharge family. Combining our strengths and capabilities leads to a powerful competitive position in the industry. Together, with our larger scale, we can offer an even better service to prepaid users worldwide.”

Starselect offers gamers a digital marketplace featuring several gift card offerings, according to the release. The company’s website shows cards for gaming giants like Nintendo, Playstation and Xbox, as well as the Roblox platform and Apple and Google.

The deal marks Recharge’s first achievement in its plan to consolidate the digital prepaid market via mergers and acquisitions, with other such deals planned in the next year, the release said.

The acquisition is happening as many companies are putting a digital spin on traditional gift cards.

“Gift cards, while convenient, suffer from a growing issue affecting both those who give and receive them: the dilemma of lost and forgotten gift cards,” PYMNTS reported Wednesday (Sept. 13). “…Furthermore, even when recipients use a portion of the gift card’s value, a significant fraction often remains unused. In unfortunate scenarios, the closure of retailers or store locations can make it impossible for recipients to redeem their gift cards, adding to the frustration of this prevalent issue.”

The situation has led to innovations like Hallmark’s August partnership with Venmo, which involves physical greeting cards that feature a QR code directing users to Venmo. Gift givers use the code to transfer money to the recipient, while the recipient scans the code to get their gift.

Recharge last month debuted a pilot B2B service allowing for the corporate gifting of prepaid products. The company said the service is designed to support firms looking to reward and incentivize employees with gift and prepaid cards.