Digital payments specialist Optimal Payments (OPAY:AIM) lost its customers' data in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, according to allegations reported today.

AIM-listed Opay says it is now aware of claims that a 'material amount' of its customers' data is publicly available online as a result of breaches in two of its largest units.

Data was compromised in its Paypal-style digital wallet Neteller service 'in 2012 or before', according to the allegations. There are also claims customer records of Skrill, which Optimal bought for €1.1 billion (£789 million) in August this year, were breached 'in 2011 or before'.

And Optimal also admits to data breaches in 2010 and 2009.

'The company previously suffered two data breaches as a result of cyber attacks in 2009 and 2010,' according to the statement.

Forensic investigators employed following the 2009 and 2010 data losses reported there was no evidence the breach at Neteller was large enough to merit concern. But the investigators were unable to determine the size of the breach at Skrill.

'To the best of the company's knowledge, no Moneybookers' [Skrill] customers suffered any financial losses as a result of the breach,' a statement says.

It is unclear whether the new allegations relate to additional breaches or are a repetition of the 2009 and 2010 claims.

Neteller card 2

Optimal has reported the 2011 and 2012 allegations to its regulators the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Information Commissioner.

The claims will be embarrassing to management at Optimal after a big money deal to acquire Skrill was completed earlier this year. They may also hurt its chances of qualifying for the FTSE 250 mid cap index, a key reason investors backed the acquisition via a £451 million rights issue.

Shares in Optimal trade 9% lower at 317p.

'Optimal Payments places the highest possible priority on maintaining its customers' data integrity and safety,' the company said in a statement.

'The company will make a further announcement in due course to update the market on the findings of its investigation.'

Issue Date: 29 Oct 2015