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Thunes Tackles US Gaming Market With Tilia Acquisition

Cross-border payments firm Thunes is set to acquire all-in-one-payments platform Tilia.

The deal, announced Tuesday (April 23), is aimed at speeding Thunes’ growth in the U.S. and its presence in the online gaming market.

“The acquisition of Tilia demonstrates our ambition in the United States,” Floris de Kort, Thunes’ recently appointed chief executive, said in a news release provided to PYMNTS.

“This investment will enable us to leverage Tilia’s capabilities to provide merchants with direct money movement solutions in and out of the United States,” he continued. “Furthermore, Tilia’s deep expertise in online gaming, virtual worlds and token-based payments will greatly accelerate our growth into that fast-growing, exciting industry.”

As the release notes, Tilia is licensed in 48 U.S. states and territories and offers payment acceptance and payouts for online games, virtual worlds, creator economies and in-app purchases.

Under the agreement, Thunes has forged a five-year partnership with Tilia’s majority owner Linden Lab, with Thunes providing payment processing and payouts to Linden Lab, allowing gamers to pay, and to receive money real-time via Thunes’ global network.

Brad Oberwager, who was named CEO of Linden Lab/Tilia last year, said this arrangement will give “customers more payment choices, and the ability to receive payouts in real time, anywhere, into the wallet or bank account of their choice.”

As noted here last year, gamers by and large prefer to receive payouts instantly, with 44% saying that cash was the payout method they used the most in the prior year, according to research from “Generation Instant: Gamers and Winnings,” a PYMNTS Intelligence and Ingo Payments collaboration.

By comparison, 18% of the people surveyed said they used digital instant payments the most — a sign that gamers may receive payouts differently depending on whether they are playing in a physical location or online.

“Gaming companies need to address consumers’ concerns to convert holdouts,” PYMNTS wrote. “Among customers who do not choose to receive their payouts via digital instant methods, 48% do not want to share payment credentials. Thirty-four percent are worried about the security of their payment and personal information. For 36% of consumers, cost is an inhibiting factor.”

More recently, PYMNTS examined a report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) expressing concerns about how gaming and virtual reality companies facilitate transactions and collect sensitive data.

As noted here last week, while older consumers tend to share the CFPB’s worries, younger consumers do not.

Research by PYMNTS Intelligence and Trustly found that most younger consumers said they were comfortable sharing financial data under an open banking framework.