Intel Capital has invested an undisclosed amount in Firstgate Holding, owner of hosted online payment system provider ClickandBuy.

The deal will help fund ClickandBuy's global expansion into Asia and Latin America and will strengthen it against competitors, the companies said. Intel Capital is the investment arm of Intel, the chipmaker.

Around 7,000 merchants use ClickandBuy's payment system that can handle many different currencies, various tax schemes, credit card processing and live customer care. The system also features fraud prevention to protect customers and merchants against Internet fraud.

ClickandBuy has experienced rapid growth recently, according to Intel Capital, driven by an increase in broadband penetration which has encouraged downloads of content like music and video.

Current ClickandBuy customers include Apple's iTunes store, Skype, Financial Times Deutschland and UK newspaper, The Independent.

ClickandBuy has attracted additional investment recently. In 2006, 3i Group made a €20 million (£13m) investment and Deutsche Telecom also made a 10% investment in ClickandBuy's holding company, Firstgate Holding.

Last year, Intel Capital said that while it typically made investments in the $2m to $4m range, it would start making larger investments. Shortly after indicating the change in strategy, it invested $600 million in broadband wireless company Clearwire.

Since 1991, Intel capital has invested more than $6 billion in companies around the world.