We talk to Marc Wood, Pay360’s Head of Business Development (Gaming) in the lead up to his speaking slot at Betting on Football’s PaymentExpert Forum
What particular challenges does the gaming industry face when taking on new customers?
Marc: It’s a long list - the world of gaming necessarily has many checks and balances, many of which might seem to conflict with the aim of the operator to increase their customer base. The one most of us think of first is ID verification to confirm the player’s age, but there’s also a legal requirement to protect ‘at risk’ players. This can be done by monitoring the player’s gaming behaviour or checking the self-exclusion scheme, both of which are key to the industry supporting responsible gaming and vulnerable people in society.
Other mandatory ‘Know Your Customer’ considerations for the gaming industry include making sure the player isn’t linked to crime, money laundering or terrorism, with the penalties for non-compliance extremely high – the Gambling Commission famously fined bookmaker William Hill more than £6 million in 2018 for failing to take these responsibilities seriously enough.
Balanced with this is the need to provide a friction-free journey for genuine customers. Up until now, this has been an issue for the gaming industry – where they were setting up payment acceptance rules to ensure compliance with regulations, it was significantly slowing down players at checkout. Even worse, operators have become aware that a number of good customers are being rejected, either because of the rules’ limited data capabilities which decline the transaction to ‘play safe’, or because of some flagged element of doubt which the operator doesn’t have the spare resource to check out. These ‘false positives’, which arise as a result of having to be cautious, can prove pretty costly in terms of lost income.
How can gaming operators expand internationally without losing customers at checkout?
Marc: The two main considerations when expanding into different countries are a) the preferred payment methods of those customers and b) how to ensure payments are accepted and processed as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.
If, for example, Latin American consumers lean towards preferring cash-based e-payments, you’ll want to make sure you provide these options at checkout. Once you’ve ensured the right choice of payment methods for that country, you then need to make sure the payment itself isn’t delayed or declined at authorisation stage and that you’re not incurring unduly high charges for each transaction because of territorial complications. At Pay360, we support gaming operators with global payment platforms and connections to local acquirers pretty much anywhere in the world, leading to lower interchange and processing costs and increasing acceptance rates for genuine customers.
Is it possible for a gaming operator to be fully compliant without losing good business?
Marc: Yes, absolutely. For example, at Pay360 our advanced rules engine can access thousands of data points in seconds, running those all-important Know Your Customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) checks without the player even noticing. This enhanced player authentication takes place quickly and is more accurate, identifying genuine customers easily. The friction-free experience for the genuine player results in a vastly improved customer experience, ensuring higher levels of customer conversion and retention – not only are gaming operators able to move players more quickly and smoothly towards checkout, but those players are more likely to return as a result.
How can gaming operators ensure they don’t spend all their resources on compliance and knowing who their customers are?
Marc: Automation, automation, automation! It’s the only way for gaming operators to avoid pouring all their profits into operational costs. With an intuitive, powerful fraud and risk rules engine, such as Pay360’s Optimize solution, gaming operators can use advanced automation to quickly build bespoke acceptance strategies for instant decisions and a friction free customer journey.
Optimize also supports effective automated workload prioritisation across global teams in real-time. Whether it’s whitelisting VIP customer or flagging high value transactions, operators end up with a connected workforce who have the data they need for more accurate decision-making.
How can gaming operators ensure a successful future?
Marc: It’s important to look at the payments picture as a whole – from payment channels to acquiring banks, to compliance requirements and the customer experience at checkout. Only by looking at these holistically can gaming operators ensure success both here in the UK and abroad.
That’s why Pay360 is unique – we really do pull together all those elements, from offering multi-channel solutions which deliver the most popular payment methods across the globe, to supporting global business expansion through our relationship with leading international acquiring banks and local acquirers. With Optimize identify verification (ID&V), operators have the enhanced player authentication they need to identify problem gamblers, prevent bonus abuse and support anti-money laundering (AML), providing a clear audit trail to meet regulatory requirements. The powerful Optimize rules engine puts an end to the compromise between compliance and accepting less players, ensuring higher levels of customer conversion and a better customer experience, so you can be sure you’re not turning away good business. Last but certainly not least, with Optimize you have the opportunity to draw further insights into customer behaviour using the very latest advanced analytics.
Where Pay360 really comes into its own is that we’re not limited to providing separate pieces of the payment puzzle for gaming operators to struggle to fit together. We can deliver a bespoke, holistic package with no missing links and where each solution supports the interests of gaming operators, ensuring business success and a strong future.
Liked this article? Why not read Marc’s other gaming related blogs:
- 3 ways gaming operators can cut bonus abuse and problem gambling
- Can technology help prevent problem gambling and money laundering?
- See our infographic on the real cost of problem gambling for gaming operators