The essential features of any flow of payments in a gaming business is to allow for transfer of funds to and from eWallets, bank accounts, credit and debit cards or prepaid vouchers directly into or out of the gaming account quickly and easily to allow customers to start playing online whenever they want.
e-Wallets are the fastest growing segment for processing financial transactions at an online casino or gaming site, taking over paying via a credit or debit card. An e-Wallet is an electronic store for money in a digital form, allowing purchase of goods and services from websites. The most popular is PayPal but there are many other wallet options that online casinos use.
A player first signs up for an account through a provider such as PayPal, Neteller or Skrill and links his bank account or credit card by means of which he can add money and withdraw funds. Players then visit the online website (casino, sports betting etc.) and register the e-Wallet so that they can deposit funds.
Some of the benefits of using e-Wallets include that they can be used to transfer funds out of the casino very quickly – in most cases in just a few minutes, faster than crediting bank cards.
The reasons why people use eWallets include:
- eWallet provides a protective layer through which transfers are made using a preferred debit card, credit card, or bank account. The underlying account details are not shared.
- Details of card or account numbers are not exposed when transacting with an eWallet. The eWallet username and password alone are required to verify the account.
- eWallet guarantees faster processing. In other modes, gambling site operators have a habit of making slower payments via methods such as telegraphic transfers to bank accounts, transfers to credit/debit cards, and physical cheques. eWallets are capable of receiving funds far more quickly.
For gambling website operators, eWallets offer advantages as well. These include simplicity, quick access to incoming funds, lower fees and transfer costs, and a minimal manual interface.
Gaming, such as sports betting, casino gambling and i-gaming like poker web sites, is a volatile subject in the mobile payments area right now, especially due to the tremendous impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the whole digital environment. For many years, gaming websites have been sticking to older methods when it came to payments. The funds experience didn’t change for many years, while every other digital service has made modifications.
- From the perspective of payments, the regulatory complexity and infrastructure requirements result in a complex gaming environment. People look for a mobile experience and what they want is one that works like Apple Pay or PayPal – loading money into a wallet, a digital store or debit card then being able to directly access and play online.
- Regulations are affecting use of credit and debit cards everywhere, and that’s even more the case in gaming. While to some degree Visa and Mastercard have opened up their rules and regulations to allow gaming transactions, traditional financial institutions are still slow to support betting sites. In some cases, there have been many declines despite the account holder having the funds or being inside their credit limit.
- As a result of the new European Payment Service Directive (PSD2) that came into force in 2019, consumers in the EU are now better protected when they play online. It sped up the development and use of new online and mobile payments methods and brought competition in the financial sector that resulted in better financial services for the consumers. One of the results of PSD2 was that banks and fintech companies now expose details of accounts they hold on behalf of their customers (like balances, credit limits, outstanding payments etc.) and make it possible to initiate payments from those accounts to any approved third-party providers.
- For financial service providers rolling out a mobile solution into the gaming space, such as loading an eWallet with a credit or debit card, there are regulatory issues that create extra cost components to create a seamless experience in the gaming area.
- The most important factor to be remembered now is that the global pandemic has changed how consumers pay for products and services. Before COVID-19 how people paid was mostly a matter of their degree of familiarity with the interface. As a result, changing behavior in the past often involved a long and difficult process, facing up to consumer apathy, inertia, and fear of changes. If the existing process to meet the customer’s needs felt familiar, safe, and efficient, there was little degree of change.
This was the case in the payments markets in the U.S. and western Europe. They have for a long time been served by plastic cards but have been slow to adopt more modern ideas such as mobile payments and digital wallets for online activities. COVID-19 has provided the impetus for unprecedented global changes to how we pay. According to one study, nearly 80% of global consumers have changed how they pay for products and services as a result of pandemic concerns.
COVID-19 has changed the way consumers look at commerce and payment options. Businesses are adapting to make payment transactions fast and safe for both customers and associates. Application Program Interface (API) providers are now evolving their methods to meet customer payment expectations.
Changing consumer attitudes toward cash and other contact-based payment methods have changed the way that gaming service providers manage and accept payments. Shifts in buying behaviors have affected key performance indicators (KPIs) related to payments and disputes.
In the online gambling market, common payment KPIs and related issues include:
- Latency: measures response time in executing a payment means increases could result in timeouts, disputes and lost customers.
- Authorization and decline rates: measures how many submitted transactions are approved for payment by the issuer.
- Fraud detection rates: counts how many submitted transactions successfully make it through the fraud screening process and go on to be processed for payment. Fraud is much more common in gaming than in goods and service payments. In gaming there are likely to be more first-time customers using the digital channels, resulting in higher fraud detection rates online as well.
- Payment processing costs: higher credit and debit card processing fees apply to gaming transactions and additionally rates are higher, so credit card processing fees per transaction are likely to increase. These costs include interchange fees that are paid to the issuing bank, gateway and processor fees, fraud detection costs etc.
- Chargeback rates: According to statistics collected over the past few years, a large percentage of successfully processed transactions are later disputed by the cardholder. This has resulted in demands for refunds and are largely due to security breaches, card ID theft and other issues outside of the service providers control.
- Refund rates: it is a common risk because attitudes towards customers disputing a transaction through their bank are generally to agree to a refund, if only to avoid higher chargeback rates and to retain customer loyalty.
- Gaming costs: related directly to volumes processed. Gaming service providers are likely to have been positively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, so are, dealing with a higher volume of transactions.
Fraud models have been challenged by the shift to digital and other behavior changes due to COVID-19. The shift to digital during the pandemic has greatly increased the need for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning techniques to maximize market penetrations and minimize costs. New and revised reports and analytics are helping gaming sites to better understand the impact to their business and their payment processing as a result of COVID-19.
The flow of payments in a gaming business is totally dependent on the degree of digitization that has overtaken the internet service sector over the past decade, and has been radically affected by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Service providers and gaming websites depend on the easy management of funds transfer from their customers. The customers require a simple, fast and efficient interface to make the gaming experience