Interviews and News
The future of payments in the gaming sector at G2E
October 03, 2023
The future of payments in the gaming sector at G2E
OKTO recently confirmed its presence at this year’s Global Gaming Expo (G2E), set to take place from October 9th – 12th at The Venetian in Las Vegas. Ahead of the expo, our Theo Engelis, OKTO VP of North America and Australia, in an exclusive interview with Yogonet spoke about the company’s plans to showcase and demonstrate its solutions at the event.

In the interview, Theo speaks about developments in the payments sector, OKTO’s cashless solutions, and the company’s latest payment innovations. He also sheds light on the company’s expansion, partnerships, and growth potential in different markets; in addition to discussing OKTO’s offerings and tailored solutions in different jurisdictions.

 

What are your expectations and objectives at this year’s G2E Las Vegas?

 

At this year’s G2E Las Vegas, we have high expectations and clear objectives for OKTO. Our role at the event is multi-faceted. Firstly, we aim to showcase our latest payment innovations and solutions that empower businesses in the gaming industry on our partners’ stand.

We’re excited to connect with industry leaders, operators, and partners to share our vision for the future of payments and customer engagement in the gaming sector. Our objective is to demonstrate how OKTO can be a strategic payment partner in helping businesses adapt to evolving market demands for payments and paytech trends.

 

What opportunities does G2E offer OKTO, especially given the importance of this event? Do you expect payments to be at the forefront of discussion at the meeting?

 

G2E Las Vegas is a significant event for OKTO, especially now that we are expanding in North America, offering a platform to engage with key stakeholders and decision-makers in the gaming industry. Payments are indeed at the forefront of discussions in the gaming sector, and this event provides an excellent opportunity for us to highlight the importance of secure, seamless, and innovative payment solutions.

We expect to engage in meaningful conversations about the evolving payment landscape, the role of digital payments, and how OKTO can help operators capitalize on these opportunities.

 

What are your customer’s main demands at the moment, and what trends/technologies would you say are gaining momentum in the payments sector? G2E is set to highlight the role of AI in the gaming industry. Does OKTO leverage this asset in its solutions?

 

OKTO specializes in delivering comprehensive payment services that empower organizations to thrive in today’s competitive gaming and betting landscape. From eVoucher cash-based payment methods, payment gateway with local payment methods, and cross-border transactions to cashless gaming solutions, we offer a diverse range of payment solutions customized to meet the specific requirements of our clients while considering regional nuances.

By leveraging the latest payment technologies and industry best practices, our goal is to help merchants streamline their payment operations, boost productivity, and achieve sustainable growth through digital payments. Our current portfolio of solutions empowers operators to stay ahead of the competition by offering a seamless and comprehensive payment ecosystem based on merchant unique needs.

Our customers’ main demands at the moment revolve around enhancing player experience, ensuring security and compliance with the regional regulatory landscape, and optimizing operational efficiency. In terms of trends and technologies, we see the growing importance of AI and data analytics in the payments sector, and yes, our RnD team examined how we can leverage AI in our solutions. AI helps for personalized experiences, fraud detection, and data-driven insights to our clients, hence our team carefully investigates these possibilities.

 

OKTO introduced its cashless payment solutions with OKTO.WALLET which is followed by OKTO.DIRECT  that launched recently at ICE, an industry-first innovation in Europe. As we approach the end of the year, how has the market reception been for these solutions, and can you provide insights into any upcoming product launches in the near future?

 

As there is a transition to cashless societies, OKTO started its presence with cashless payment services, as it was and is a significant opportunity for retail betting operators to enhance their customer experiences and streamline their operations.

To adapt their offer successfully, operators should focus on several key areas. First and foremost, they need to provide convenient and secure payment options that cater to the preferences of modern consumers. This might involve integrating digital wallets, retail payment gateways, or embedding wallet functions within existing mobile payment apps across all customer touchpoints.

Furthermore, operators should invest in omnichannel solutions that enable a seamless transition between physical betting locations and online platforms. This means ensuring that customers can access their funds and place bets effortlessly across different channels. Implementing robust customer authentication and verification processes is crucial to maintain security and regulatory compliance. And this is exactly what we are doing with OKTO.WALLET massively this year and similarly OKTO.DIRECT will follow suit.

Our customers’ requirement for low-friction digital payment solutions is on the top of our list and OKTO.DIRECT is another answer to this demand, with no need to download an app. Using our well-established OKTO Unified Payment Platform and CMS integrations network, end-users are able to use OKTO.DIRECT to top-up and withdraw directly at gaming machines via Apple Pay, Google Pay, Debit Card, Instant Bank Transfer, or their OKTO wallet, just using their mobile to scan a QR code. This is, all about delivering an unprecedented breadth of choice, enabling consumers to pay and play using a range of digital payment options that are available with a single integration.

In terms of upcoming products, we’re committed to continuous innovation through substantial investments in research and development. While I can’t divulge specific details of new announcements for our cashless payments just yet, rest assured that we’re dedicated to expanding in general our product portfolio to align with the ever-evolving needs of our valued customers based on the demands of each region.

 

We have seen OKTO eye further expansion in several markets this year, such as the nascent Brazilian one; and sign new deals, most recently one with Exalogic for the Italian market. Can you share some insights on OKTO’s latest partnerships and the markets presenting the biggest opportunities for the company at the time?

 

Expansion and strategic partnerships are key components of OKTO’s growth strategy. We’re excited about our recent partnership with Exalogic in the Italian market, as it opens up new opportunities for us to provide cutting-edge payment solutions to the gaming industry in Italy. It is also a perfect example of our localized approach to how we react to regional demands.

OKTO.PVR is an integral addition to our OKTO.WALLET lineup, tailored for the Italian market. Backed by in-depth market insights, OKTO has curated a bespoke wallet solution that seamlessly caters to players and operators in the region. Elevating convenience, security, and compliance, OKTO.PVR bridges the gap between online gaming excitement and the tangible touch of cash transactions.

It is the ideal fusion of contemporary gameplay and timeless financial interactions, aligned seamlessly with current and forthcoming regulatory standards. Exalogic is aligned with our strategy and our partnership with Exalogic signifies a revolution in the Italian gaming landscape.

In addition, our interest in the Brazilian market reflects our commitment to exploring emerging opportunities. We believe that these partnerships and markets offer significant growth potential for OKTO, and we are actively working to establish a strong presence in these regions. And we are going beyond Brazil with our payment aggregation solution.

Our payment gateway for online operators is a pivotal component of our offering for LatAm in general. It ensures secure, efficient, and compliant payment processing for online gaming platforms. With features like real-time KYC and AML integration, we help operators maintain responsible gaming standards while providing a frictionless payment experience for their customers.

And we go beyond conventional payment solutions by simplifying payment aggregation across multiple geographies. With a single integration, gaming operators can tap into a wide range of local payment methods in regions like Latin America, including Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Colombia.

This not only streamlines financial operations but also offers players a more inclusive and convenient gaming experience by accepting familiar payment options. It’s a win-win situation that minimizes complexity and maximizes efficiency. And we even go further by providing operational excellence with a 99% success rate in pay ins and outs and 24/7 support ensuring a best-class service.

 

What is key to offering tailored solutions that best identify the requirements of each jurisdiction? With many countries eyeing stricter rules on gambling, what are the key compliance challenges that must be kept in mind?

 

Offering tailored solutions that cater to the unique requirements of each jurisdiction is crucial for our success. OKTO understands the importance of compliance in the highly regulated gaming industry. We invest in in-depth market research and collaborate closely with local partners to ensure that our solutions align with the regulatory framework of each region we operate in.

The key compliance challenges we keep in mind include age verification, responsible gaming measures, and data protection. We are committed to maintaining the highest standards of compliance to build trust with regulators and operators alike.

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