Corporate Backgrounder


Company Name: Emida
Headquarters: Foothill Ranch, CA
Trading Status: Privately Held
Employees (Worldwide): 84
Markets Served: Global Prepayment and Value Transfer
Global Presence: 21 Countries
Web Site:

Company Overview

Emida is a leader in global electronic prepaid solutions with operations in 21 countries, focused in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. The company was recently created from the merger of Emida and Q Comm to form one of the largest providers in the prepaid industry.

The combination of Emida and Q Comm results in a retail network of more than 21,000 active prepaid points of sale in retail locations in 21 countries worldwide. They have a combined annual dollar payment volume in excess of $456 million, processing more than 34 million prepaid transactions annually.

The company is focused on serving the needs of independent sales organizations (ISOs), retail chains and independent retailers by delivering quality customer service, in addition to revenue and growth opportunities. Emida partners directly with leading carriers to enable their services for ISO partners. Carriers benefit by gaining significant efficiencies as they migrate from pin-based distribution of airtime (cards and e-pins) to pin-less distribution of airtime and services.

The global market for prepaid goods and services has expanded dramatically over the past several years with U.S. customers spending more than an estimated $300 billion in 2007. Visa International estimates the worldwide prepaid market will reach in excess of $2 trillion dollars by 2010. The demand for prepaid wireless services is driving much of that growth.

Today, the majority of mobile users around the world prepay for their wireless telephone services. While there are a few countries where postpaid wireless plans remain the predominant payment model, market conditions in these countries are changing and the prepaid model is experiencing unprecedented growth. More than 72 percent of all mobile phones in the world are prepaid with practically every country being more than 50 percent prepaid except the United States and Japan. With access to prepaid wireless becoming ubiquitous and enhanced features constantly being added to prepaid mobile handsets, prepaid mobile is becoming increasingly central to the lives of people around the globe.

While the demand for prepaid wireless dominates the prepaid sector and is driving much of the growth, the market for prepaid or walk-in financial goods and services for a variety of consumer segments is expanding significantly. Consumers are increasingly paying their bills electronically, buying prepaid gift and spending cards, and securing everything from home telephone dial tone service to public utilities on a prepaid basis. Consumer segments driving the growth of prepaid are increasingly crossing the divide between non-traditional and mainstream consumers. These segments include consumer demographics that cross ethnic lines and are as diverse as the cash-based, unbanked/underbanked individual; the credit challenged; the contract averse; the budget conscious; the youth market; and increasingly the mainstream consumer looking for convenience in everything from gift giving to controlling budgets.

Increasingly ubiquitous access to prepaid products is further driving consumer demand. Prepaid products are sold in a wide variety of retail locations. Consumers can obtain prepaid products today everywhere from big-box retailers and on the web to the corner convenience store. Convenience and proximity to the prepaid consumer is fueling the growth for all types of prepaid goods and services in the independent retailer channels.


Emida serves the retail market for prepaid goods and services, supporting retail chains and independent retailers. The company is focused on providing the services required for world-class transaction processing, access to best-of-breed products and services, and to help retailers generate consumer awareness and in-store demand for prepaid. In North America, Emida accesses the retailer channels primarily through independent sales organizations (ISOs) and has built market-leading programs specifically suited to this channel. Emida’s objective is to build the foremost ISO channel for prepaid in North America.

Emida also serves the carriers in the Americas with highly flexible and scalable processing platforms which allow these service providers to create multiple prepaid offerings and sell them into diverse distribution channels in their markets. Emida provides carriers with implementation support, sales and marketing support, and a platform for managing promotions and sales initiatives. Emida’s objective is to extend its lead as the foremost supplier of prepaid processing systems to carriers in the Americas.

Products and Services

Emida provides an extensive product portfolio for prepaid wireless, calling cards and financial services such as debit cards, gift cards, lottery and bill payment. The product portfolio includes market-leading point-of-sale solutions for real-time top up, which provide wireless carriers and their customers the ability to instantly replenish their accounts regardless of location.

Emida has also pioneered cross-border payment solutions, which enable real-time payments and wireless account replenishment for suppliers and their customers across geographies in any currency. Emida provides technology development and processing solutions for retailers, processing platforms and co-location services for carriers, distribution expertise, sales support, product management and merchandising services in the rapidly growing prepaid marketplace.

With the Emida platform carriers can rapidly and cost effectively deploy products, set commission rates for multi-hierarchy channels, and deliver products through a wide variety of point of sale devices, including POS terminals, PCs, kiosks, handset devices and IVR delivery systems.


Emida has formed numerous strategic partnerships with major carriers and service providers in each of the markets it serves. These include wireless carriers, MVNOs, CLECs, ILECs, technology providers and financial services companies to provide customers with flexibility and industry-leading solutions.

Some of Emida’s partners include:


Dennis Andrews, Chief Executive Officer

Andrews brings 31 years experience in the technology industry to Emida, including serving as former chairman and co-founder of eCatalystOne, also a provider of global online payment services, and 21 years with IBM during the initial explosion of the IBM PC business. He has been the president and/or CEO of advanced software companies since 1991, including seven-plus years in Silicon Valley. Andrews most recently served as CEO of Axcelerant, Inc., which was successfully sold to GRIC Communications in 2003. Andrews graduated with honors from Penn State University with a degree in theoretical mathematics. His graduate studies, also in theoretical mathematics, were at Syracuse University and the University of North Carolina.

Mike Keough, President North America

Keough served as CEO of Q Comm International, Inc since 2004. Prior to Q Comm, he served as CEO, president, and chief strategy officer of ClearOne Communications, a $60 million and 265-employee company that offers industry leading audio, video, and web-based conferencing products and services. During his two year tenure at ClearOne, shareholder value increased over 600 percent. From 1998 to 2002, Keough served as senior vice president of world wide sales for Tempo, a division of Textron, where he was responsible for building multinational sales organizations, developing strategic partnerships, and winning business from such clients as Bell South, SBC and Verizon. Prior to Tempo, Keough served as senior vice president of sales for Megahertz and vice-president of sales for the mobile communications division of USRobotics, both acquired by 3Com Corp. After the acquisitions, he became the vice president of channel sales for 3Com where he was responsible for a $2.2 billion annual revenue objective for all of 3Com’s product offerings, while managing approximately 250 people. Keough earned both an Executive MBA and Bachelors of Arts from the University of Washington.

James R. Wodach, CPA, Chief Financial Officer

Wodach has been Emida since 2001 and has more than 20 years of financial and operational experience. Wodach has raised in excess of $125 million through both public and private financings. From 2000 to 2001, Wodach served in various capacities including chief executive, operating and financial officer, and board member of Previously he also held the position of senior vice president and CFO for PharmaPrint Inc., a publicly traded pharmaceutical and consumer products company. Wodach received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from California State University, Fullerton. He is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Fred Schade, Chief Information Officer

Schade brings more than 23 years of experience in IT and software development to Emida. Schade served as CTO for Q Comm International, Inc. and prior to that served as the CTO and vice president of R&D for Inc. He developed the de facto standard (EDI) for medical record retrieval now used in the multi-billion dollar medical record retrieval industry. Prior to, he was the director of software development for NetSchools Corp. From 1993 to 1997 he was director of software development for the Waterford Institute, where he was responsible for development of the Waterford Early Reading Program. From 1989 to 1993 he served as software engineer and product manager for IBM. He is the inventor/co-inventor of six technology and business process patents, four of which have been issued and two of which are pending.

Charles Callis, Vice President Corporate Marketing

Callis brings over 20 years of worldwide senior management and executive experience with global technology companies. Callis is responsible for Emida’s worldwide marketing initiatives including product innovations and management, marketing programs and alliances, channel marketing, and marketing communications. Prior to Emida, Callis served as vice president of marketing and business development at Q Comm International. He brings a track record of building innovative product strategies, industry alliances and value-added channel networks both domestically and internationally. Callis served as vice president, worldwide sales and marketing for ClearOne Communications where he built a global partner network of distributors and value-added resellers. Prior to that, Callis served as vice president of sales for e-learning platform company, Learnframe, and as a founding executive and vice president of worldwide sales and alliances for systems management leader Altiris, Inc. (currently Symantec). Over a decade he held numerous executive positions for networking software leader, Novell, Inc. including vice president of marketing, vice president of enterprise customers, and managing director Europe, Middle East and Africa. He was a National Resource Center Fellow and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Utah with BA and MBA degrees.

Luis Paz, Vice President LATAM

Mr. Paz is responsible for overseeing Emida’s Latin American operations. He has over 16 years experience in the development, deployment, and support of commercial software and engineering products. Prior to joining Emida, he served as senior software development director for Starmedia Mobile (now CycleLogic), where he led the development of mobile internet enabling platforms and value-added applications for wireless carriers in Latin America. Prior to StarMedia, Paz served for 11 years in several key technical and managerial positions for Modular Mining Systems, a subsidiary of Komatsu Ltd. (Japan). Paz received a BS in Systems Engineering and MS in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of Arizona.

Steve Gooderham, Vice President Caribbean

Steve Gooderham has over 25 years of international experience in technology based companies. He has successfully negotiated, and deployed multi-million-dollar telecommunications projects in Europe the Middle East and North America. As general manager for England-based Microvitec Multimedia, his team developed one of the first video-on-demand systems to be deployed by British Telecom. More recently with SCI and Corsair Communications he has led the deployment, management and support of prepaid systems throughout the Americas and the Caribbean. Since joining Emida three years ago, he has been responsible for managing the company operations in the Caribbean, as well as establishing a 7×24 support team for domestic and international clients.

Sydnee Fox

Rod Anderson


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