Merlin Entertainments

Merlin Entertainments: International Payments

Merlin Entertainments

MasterCard Payment Gateway Services was selected to deliver a single global payment processing solution for 68 sites across four continents.

Merlin Entertainments, the world's second largest attraction operator, recognised that its 40 million customers could be better served by a single integrated payment provider. The challenge was to create efficiencies across its 68 attractions around the world and selected MasterCard Payment Gateway Services as its preferred payment and fraud service provider.

With 2010 revenues reaching over £800 million, Merlin Entertainments' business is growing by 7-10% year-on-year and it needed to ensure it was realising efficiency and costs savings from across its operations. The group's portfolio of brands includes some of the world's most reputable attractions such as the London Eye,

LEGOLAND, Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE, Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Warwick Castle and the Chessington World of Adventures.


The Business Challenge

Merlin Entertainments' globally diverse business meant that it had a number of local relationships with payment providers. These local solutions meant they were only offering customers a limited number of payment types for each of their attractions. Both Merlin Entertainments and its customers were not getting the best from its local approach to payment processing. Each attraction had their own interface that was connected to a local acquirer. This proved to be costly to manage not only from a technical perspective, but also commercially from an acquirer perspective.


The Solution

MasterCard Payment Gateway Services was able to offer Merlin Entertainments a single global gateway, delivering multiple, alternative payment types and fraud prevention for its global customer base. MasterCard Payment Gateway Services developed a Standard Payments Solution, tailored to Merlin Entertainments' businesses and from November 2009 Merlin Entertainments has been strategically rolling out the payment solutions across its 68 sites globally. To do this, Merlin Entertainments, MasterCard Payment Gateway Services and IBM, who was contracted to develop Merlin Entertainments' front-end application, worked together to ensure that each of the sites went live according to a combined project plan. Upon completion of the last site, all three organisations worked to roll out additional alternative payment methods for local sites such as ELV for its German sites, and Dankort for its sites in Denmark.

Merlin Entertainments has since gone live with an Outsourced Offline Fraud Screening Solution through MPGS Fraud Services, which is being rolled out across these sites as well.


Benefits of the MasterCard Payment Gateway Services Solution

  • MasterCard Payment Gateway Services's Standard Payments Solution has reduced Merlin Entertainments' over all payment processing costs through efficiencies delivered by using a single interface for global customer payments 
  • MasterCard Payment Gateway Services's Outsourced Offline Fraud Screening Solution delivers fraud screening services for each attraction. 
  • Through MasterCard Payment Gateway Services's 50 global acquirer connections, Merlin Entertainments can offer visitors a wide range of payment types as well as allowing it to outreach to regions that it previously had not been present in Merlin Entertainments has a consistent brand image across its payment systems for all its attractions.
  • Merlin Entertainments began its relationship with MasterCard Payment Gateway Services in 2009 and has watched it evolve as the company grows.

As Merlin Entertainments expands its business in the Asia-Pacific region, MasterCard Payment Gateway Services is ready to deliver standard card and alternative payment processing as well as other value added services as Merlin Entertainments opens new attractions in Asia. 

David Paice, eCommerce Director at Merlin Entertainments comments, “MasterCard Payment Gateway Services was able to deliver a single integrated payment processing solution that meets the needs of Merlin Entertainments' growing international business. We wanted a partner who was able to deliver cost savings as well as a scope and scale that matched our ambitions. MasterCard Payment Gateway Services clearly understood our business requirements both past and future”

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