Computop Celebrates 25 Years in Payments From start-up to e-commerce market leader

Bamberg, 19 May 2022 – 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 employes 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."


- 1997 - The first Computop Paygate enables secure e-commerce payments by credit card through the new Secure Electronic Transactions (SET) standard.

- 1999 - Growth accelerates through cooperations with HypoVereinsbank and card acceptance banks (acquirers) such as Payone (B+S), Concardis.

- 2000/2001 - First pilot projects on behalf of Visa and Mastercard to establish the PCI and 3D Secure security standards throughout Europe.

- 2001 - Tokenisation: Computop is the first PSP to replace card numbers with arbitrary number sequences to prevent the transfer of open data.

- 2010 - In addition to the company headquarters in Bamberg, offices are set up for local teams in the USA, the UK and China, which are still active today. In China, Computop was the only western PSP with its own data centre to process payments inside the "Chinese firewall".

- 2013 - Computop buys EOS Payment from the OTTO Group and thus gains 350 new customers. For OTTO, this enabled the payment processes of two EOS platforms to be evaluated and an expensive third-party solution to be switched off. After 18 months, all merchants had successfully migrated to Computop Paygate.

- 2014 - Computop Paygate is awarded the CNP Award as "Best CNP solution outside the USA", a recognition for exceptional performance in the previous year. (CNP = Card Not Present, i.e. online payment).

- 2015 - Computop was the first German payment processor to be certified according to PCI P2PE (Point-to-Point Encryption), the strictest standard for POS payments. In the same year, the Guangdong E-Commerce Association awarded Computop with the "Extremely Valuable Cross-Border Award".

- 2017 - On behalf of car rental company Sixt, Computop rolls out a payment solution for POS, mobile and e-commerce in Europe and North America. A first: never before has an integrated solution been realised with which payments from the over-the-counter, online and call centre business are processed via different acquirers in Europe and the USA on a single payment platform. 3,600 card terminals in 14 countries were connected in the process. The customer relationship with Sixt SE continues to this day.

- 2020 - Computop applies for regulation as a payment institution by the German banking regulator BaFin. With this permission, Computop wants to offer complex payment solutions such as marketplaces or accounts receivable management, which also include money transfers.

- 2021 - As one of few payment service providers in Europe, Computop is simultaneously certified according to ISO 27001, PCI-DSS and PCI-P2PE. This means that the company meets the highest requirements for data and information security.



The Computop Management: Stephan Kück, Thomas Egglseder, Ralf Gladis (left to right)

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About Computop

As one of the very first payment service providers, Computop offers its customers around the world local and innovative omnichannel solutions for payment processing and fraud prevention. The internally developed Computop Paygate payment platform enables seamless integrated payment processes for e-commerce and POS. Retailers, service providers and industrial enterprises have the flexibility and freedom to choose from over 350 payment methods enabling them to specifically tailor their payment options per country. Technologies such as biometric authentication and self-learning algorithms improve security and convenience for retailers and consumers alike.

Computop, a global player with its head office in Germany and locations in England and the USA, has been servicing large international companies in the service, retail, mobility, gaming and travel industries for more than 25 years. These companies include global brands such as C&A, Fossil, the entire Otto Group, Sixt, Swarovski and Wargaming. Computop, being ISO 27001 certified since 2021, also provides its payment system to banks and financial service providers as a white-label solution. In total, the certified carbon-neutral company processes commercial payment transactions with a combined value of USD 33 billion annually in 127 currencies. With its individual and secure solutions, Computop makes a major contribution to the future of international payment processing.

Press contact

Jessica Mularczyk
Ascendant Communications for Computop

T   +1-508-498-9300