Camtech secures shoppers' trust

Internet credit card payment provider Camtech has announced unprecedented business growth in the last quarter owing to what it said were receding security fears among online shoppers.

Camtech recorded a 25 per cent increase in online merchant clients in the last quarter, which translated to 500 extra merchants. Transaction volume for its internet payment gateway rose by 72 per cent.

Earnings for this period sat between $3 million and $4 million, the company said.

Bruce Linn, Camtech's CEO, attributed the surge in online spending to a general realisation by consumers that if US merchandise sites, for instance, were secure and consumers' credit card numbers "were not being hacked", people were "jumping online" to buy commodities, he said.

"Security concerns are a perception, not a reality," Linn asserted.

The number of online shoppers in Australia has increased by 600 per cent in the last three years, according to Red Sheriff research. Currently 5.21 million internet users in Australia make online purchases, according to IDC.

Camtech's record growth came as a shock to Linn who felt the local e-commerce industry was "immature". Consumer uptake in online purchasing was at "very small levels", he asserted.

He added that Australian businesses had a "competitive branding problem" against US internet giants like Amazon.com. "It's so much easier to go to Amazon.com. Who would think to go to Dymocks or Sanity.com?" he said.

Regardless, Linn was confident Camtech would sustain this quarter's growth pattern over the next two years. "We will grow aggressively and see between 100 to 200 per cent growth year after year," he maintained.

Camtech's channel partnerships with 150 companies also generated healthy revenue, Linn said. Camtech business customers earned $15 million in collective profit in the last quarter via the Camtech internet payment gateway, according to Linn.

He claimed the company had "unlimited capacity" to manage the recent surge in user traffic. "Traffic is not a problem for us. Our solutions are scalable to a volume which will take us into the next few years," he said.

Camtech's new channel partners include Murchison Productions, Logic Commerce, WAM/Buy It Online, Dragon Design, and IT and E-Commerce Solutions. Camtech will aim to establish a service model for internet payment technology with its expanded reseller base, according to Linn.

The company will align with US-based EDS this year to co-host internet payment services, due to go live in November, according to Linn.

Camtech also has WAP and other authentication product plans in the pipeline.

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