Dean Gourlay in an interview with Coinslot outlines that 2022 has been a successful year for OKTO which has become the payments partner of Tier 1 operators in all of the markets it is involved in. Looking ahead, the brand will be meeting its UK partners and clients at EAG and using ICE London as the platform to launch its latest innovations, which it says will constitute a ‘big reveal.
CS: How would you look back on 2022?
DG: A lot has been achieved in 2022 not least OKTO’s status as a payments partner of Tier 1 operators in all of the markets that we are involved in.
Our portfolio of partnerships represents a powerful sign of confidence from brands that are not only established as leading European and global operators but are also widely recognised as industry trendsetters. The UK brands of the Gauselmann Group as well as Inspired Entertainment were the first adopters of our cashless solution and the first in Europe to launch instant cashless payments directly onto gaming machines to meet their customers’ demands. On the omnichannel side, our partnership with Codere is a testament to the effectiveness of the award-winning omnichannel payments technology and compliance that lies behind our solution. On the online side, Kaizen Gaming was the first that introduced OKTO’s phygital experiences to its members. Overall, 2022 has been a very positive year for us at OKTO and we are looking forward to an even more exciting one for 2023, being now a registered UK business and an EMI agent, which is authorised by the FCA.
On another note, the fact that was a record year cannot be ignored with €2bln annual run rate of processed money via our unified payment platform.
CS: What are your objectives for the year ahead?
DG: Our strategic plan for 2023 is quite simple, and that is to open new markets and expand existing ones. When it comes to the UK, the objective is the expansion in other gaming verticals including Bingos, LBOs and AGCs. In terms of geography, the UK, LatAm and continental Europe are all important parts of OKTO’s strategic business development plan with each region, country and culture having its own localised solution. The really positive response to OKTO is both gratifying and exciting. To be working with established international operator brands which are also widely regarded as being industry leaders is a resounding sign of confidence. This is true across every sector and every region that OKTO is involved in.
Another objective is to continually innovate, launching products that respond to both operators’ and players’ demands while meeting all the compliance requirements of international regulators. This is achieved by investing in technology and investing in the super-talented OKTO team which continues to develop and grow in the UK, Europe and LatAm.
CS: What are the most important issues in the sector?
DG: I would point to three dominant issues in our sector: the desire among modern consumers for digitalised payments, the deployment of technology, the interface with regulators and with that the absolute imperative of being 100 percent compliant. The most important regulatory concerns relate to AML and Responsible Gaming: however, we believe that these operating challenges are in fact the catalyst for innovation.
As a payment technology company, we believe in the power of regulation. For OKTO responsible payments power responsible gaming. We also deploy enriched customer data to reduce payment fraud and money laundering. In doing so, we help operators to stem the losses associated with issues such as money laundering in the digital sector.
We have the commitment to deliver complete ‘know your customer’ (KYC) requirements with a responsible gaming toolkit embedded into our solutions. Limit settings based on AML requirements and the provision of safer gambling information are key. The OKTO platform is built with RegTech in mind and responds to all of the modern requirements set by regulators. Our focus is also on the player. The customer experience and player engagement represent core challenges. The key here is delivering player convenience via solutions that are omnichannel, enabling the user to move funds seamlessly across different verticals and channels and all this in a frictionless, compliant, seamless, easy, and fast way.
CS: What can we expect from your attendance at EAG and ICE?
DG: EAG is the most important show for the UK land-based market, and we are looking forward to meeting all our partners and clients there. Of course, ICE is an incredibly important show to OKTO as I believe it is to all international brands. In fact, we have selected February’s ICE London as the platform to launch all of our innovations, and I can confirm that it will be a big reveal. My message to the industry is to visit the OKTO booth S8-210 at ICE and discover the unlimited capabilities of a unified platform and the multiple solutions that our payments platform powers. There’s no doubt it’s an exciting time for me to be associated with the OKTO brand!