Our Commercial Director, Galina Bineva sits with SBC Noticias Brazil to discuss the payments-related challenges and solutions for online sports betting in Brazil. As Brazil moves towards a regulated online sports betting market, payment-related challenges have emerged for operators. Operators must offer a seamless payment experience that caters to Brazilian players’ unique payment preferences, such as local payment methods like PIX and Boleto Bancário. OKTO, a top-tier payment solution provider, offers a suite of payment solutions and has developed a comprehensive range of products that integrate with local payment systems. This includes popular local payment methods and OKTO.CASH, an innovative e-voucher payment solution.
Additionally, OKTO now goes beyond, offering managed payment services that deliver unlimited features to support online sports betting operators in Brazil. They provide a range of value-added services, including customer support, market statistics and intelligence, and advanced KYC and AML procedures, ensuring a smooth and safe payment experience.
SBC Noticias: As Brazil edges ever closer to the establishment of a regulated online sports betting market, could you tell us about some of the payments-related challenges that operators face in the country?
GB: The establishment of a regulated online sports betting market in Brazil presents some challenges for operators, and payments cannot miss from the equation. One major challenge is the need to comply with the country’s financial regulations and adhere to strict AML and KYC requirements.
Furthermore, providing a seamless payment experience for Brazilian players can be challenging due to the country’s unique payment preferences. While credit and debit card payments are popular in many countries, Brazilians often prefer to use local payment methods such as Boleto Bancário, PIX or other cash-based payment methods. Operators need to be able to offer a range of payment options that cater to Brazilian players’ preferences while ensuring the security and reliability of their payment systems.
The creation of a regulated online sports betting market in Brazil includes a range of payment-related challenges for operators. Addressing these challenges is critical for operators to succeed in this growing market and build long-term success.
SBC Noticias: OKTO started working in Brazil in 2022; what payment products does it offer in the country, and what steps has it taken to localize them to meet the needs of Brazilian players and operators?
GB: OKTO is succeeding in the European market with solutions that are easy to adopt and compliant with local regulations. We have the technology and expertise to make every new market for our operators a profitable one and grow together.
When it comes to Brazil, we have recognized the importance of offering a comprehensive range of payment products that cater to the needs of local players and operators. To this end, we have developed a suite of payment solutions that includes popular local payment methods such as PIX and are integrated with local payment systems to ensure that payments are processed quickly and securely with the highest acceptance rate in the market.
OKTO’s embedded cash-based payment method OKTO.CASH secures the fastest way to top up an online merchant account with cash in real-time. OKTO.CASH has been established as one of the main cash-to-digital payment methods in several markets in Europe, and we are glad to introduce this payment method now in Brazil. We have taken all the necessary steps to localize it and meet the needs of Brazilian players and operators, offering a unique alternative for those consumers who prefers the online experience but still to transact offline with cash.
Having our focus on providing solutions that also make operators’ lives easier, we are going a step further by launching solutions that offer extra value for both international and local operators. We recently launched our managed payment services, providing features to support our clients in the online sports betting market in Brazil. One of these features is the ability to hedge BRL positions via money-market funds and SELIC-based returns, which minimizes the risk of currency fluctuation. We also have advanced KYC and AML procedures, including full KYC with the first deposit, pay-and-play approach with KYC docs shared via 1st-time deposits, real-time KYC checks for underage and deceased CPFs, and active restrictions on mismatch between registered and depositing CPF.
Additionally, understanding the importance of an end-to-end customer experience we offer 24/7 customer support with a multi-year experienced team in industries including gaming, entertainment, and insurance. The company also has a legal entity that is 100% segregated for this operation, and local team leaders provide complete reporting directly to the merchants. To complete the picture, we also give access to market statistics and intelligence across banks, demographics, and tech KPIs, providing our operator partners with valuable insights to help them make informed business decisions.
I would clearly say that OKTO has a complete offering from every aspect and established itself as a top-tier payment solution provider for the Brazilian market, equipped to support the growth of the online sports betting industry in the country.
SBC Noticias: One of the unique factors in Brazil is PIX; how does OKTO help merchants to work with PIX payments?
GB: PIX is a popular payment system in Brazil if not the most popular, and OKTO’s PIX solution for merchants is designed to be powerful, efficient and seamless. With our RESTful API integration, merchants can process online payments quickly and conveniently, while ensuring a flawless customer experience for their users.
What sets OKTO apart is that we don’t just offer a simple PIX execution service. We provide a comprehensive range of payment features and services that enable Brazilian merchants to take advantage of 360-degree payment operations. Our cross-border offering is combined with our PIX service, enabling merchants and partners in and out of Brazil to grow their businesses safely, securely, and quickly.
The real-time nature of our payment methods, coupled with excellent customer payment experience and no transaction failures, make us the perfect choice for merchants who want to optimize their payment operations. OKTO’s payments solutions go beyond PIX, managing and operating payments to provide merchants with the latest features and services to grow their businesses in Brazil and beyond.
SBC Noticias: Player surveys in multiple markets around the world have found that quick deposits and swift withdrawals are the number one factor that bettors want from an online gambling platform. How can technology help to reduce friction around payments and player onboarding the Brazilian market?
GB: Technology is always a game-changer and plays a crucial role in reducing friction around payments and player onboarding. By leveraging innovative payment technologies and advanced payment services, operators can offer faster and safer payment options. This not only improves the overall player experience, but also helps to reduce fraud and protect players’ sensitive financial information.
Frictionless payments are our top priority and by offering fast, secure payment options as well as user-friendly interfaces whether that be for players or merchants we tick exactly the required box.
What I’ve learned from my experience in the region and having daily communication with our local compliance, payments & customer support team, zero mistakes is the key and is exactly what we are doing in order to ensure for players to deposit and withdraw fast and secure, achieving the highest acceptance rate.
Operators can also use advanced analytics to analyze player behavior, demographics, and preferences, enabling them to provide personalized payment options that suit individual players’ needs. This level of customization creates a seamless and intuitive player journey, ultimately increasing player retention and engagement. We are supporting our partners in this via our complete reporting & intelligence tool available through our managed payment services, giving access to market statistics and intelligence across banks, demographics and tech KPIs.
Overall, technology has the potential to revolutionize the way payments and player onboarding are handled in the Brazilian market. By offering fast, secure, and personalized payment options and streamlining the onboarding process, operators can differentiate themselves from their competitors and build long-lasting relationships with their players.
SBC Noticias: Player protection is now central to every operator’s plan; how does OKTO help to support their responsible gambling measures?
GB: We understand the importance of responsible gambling measures and our aim is to provide a safe and secure environment for players in the Brazilian market. The company offers various tools and technologies that help operators to identify and prevent problem gambling behaviors. For instance, for our wallet solution we have implemented a complete toolkit for responsible gambling including mechanisms such as setting deposit limits, self-exclusion options, P&L calculator. OKTO also provides monitoring of payment behaviors to detect any concerning patterns and flags them to the operators to take appropriate actions. By taking proactive measures to promote responsible gambling, OKTO helps to build trust and credibility among players and regulators in every market that is active globally.
SBC Noticias: What are OKTO’s long-term plans for Brazil, as the regulated online gambling market takes off in the country?
GB: As the regulated online gambling market in Brazil takes off, OKTO’s long-term plans for the country include continued expansion of its payments’ services, as well as building strong partnerships with domestic and international operators to support their growth and success in the market.
To achieve this, we invest in research and development to further enhance our payments technology and offer innovative solutions, adapted to the specific needs of the Brazilian market. This will involve expanding further our local team and working closely with local partners to understand the unique challenges and opportunities of the market and develop further customized solutions that can drive growth and increase profitability for operators.
With OKTO’s Managed Payments Platform, we are going beyond and offering a 360o approach to domestic and international betting companies active in the Brazilian market. This includes our complete suite of managed payment services, fully in line with the demands of operators to optimize their operations and drive growth.