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Secure payments specialist Eckoh awarded a double layer of legal protection in the US

The company has been granted two patents for the technology underlying its secure payments platform, CallGuard
call centre
The company's system allows people to deal securely with contact centres that process card payments

Secure payments specialist Eckoh PLC (LON:ECK) has been granted two further US patents that will protect its CallGuard platform.

The first relates to the technology’s tokenisation process, which is used to encrypt card data or personal information such as social security numbers.

READ: Eckoh making great progress on push into US

The second will allow Eckoh to strengthen security for phone payments using voice biometrics.

Added layers of protection

The added layers of legal protection build on the initial patent granted in 2015 for part the firm’s CallGuard offering.

“These new awards will ensure that all current Eckoh US payments revenue and future contracted payments revenue will be protected by at least one Eckoh patent,” the company said in a stock exchange statement.

“This protection of Eckoh's intellectual property is strategically vital in ensuring we continue to lead this key market,” it added.

What it does...

As mentioned above, Eckoh specialises in secure payment products and has also developed software that helps route calls to the right people in customer contact centres.

Its products, including CallGuard, are compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards, which is a major tick in the box for the business.

Impressive progress

In an update covering the six months to the end of September, the company said it achieved double-digit percentage year-on-year growth in both revenue and gross profit.

UK trading continues to be solid with a similar revenue performance to the first half of last year and a strong pipeline of deals in the second half.

With over US$13mln of contracts having been won in the last 18 months, the UK-based business is growing rapidly in the States.

The number of payments contracts won in the US since Eckoh entered the market in 2014 is now 30.

“The US has been a real engine of growth for the group following on from the success of securing its largest every payment contract in March,” said City broker N+1 Singer.

Shares up 26% so far this year

The shares, up 26% in the year to date, were changing hands for 49.5p each, closing in on the 55p a share price target set by Canaccord Genuity.

At the current valuation, the stock is changing hands for more than 30 times forward earnings. That said, this is not out of whack with other growing software companies.

The valuation is also supported by earnings growth forecast to grow in excess of 20% over the next two years, Canaccord said.

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