The team at OKTO is reflecting on a dynamic and hugely successful 2021 in buoyant mood having been named Mobile Payment Solution of the year at December’s prestigious SBC Awards. And while the upbeat tone looks all set to continue in 2022 as a cash-free future is getting closer, Simon Dorsen, our CCO in an interview with Coinslot outlines the highlights of 2021.
CS: How will you look back on 2021 and what have been your highlights of the year?
OKTO has enjoyed considerable success across Europe securing high profile agreements and delivering payments solutions to gambling entertainment and leisure venues in countries including Romania, Spain, Italy, Germany, Cyprus, and Greece. However, I regard the brand’s success in the UK as being a key highlight of the year. We entered the UK market in 2021 and in less than eight months we secured partnership agreements with a number of the domestic industry’s leading names including Regal, Inspired, Bob Rudd, Merkur Bingo and Merkur Slots. Our team has taken the OKTO story into the market and it’s clear that operators are impressed both by the technology that lies behind the brand, especially the fact that we are more than just a payment method at the gaming machine. Users can order a Mastercard linked to their OKTO account – OKTO can also be integrated into ordering apps and POS behind the bar. The safer gambling credentials of the app are also important to our partners as well as the ability it provides for customers to deposit and withdraw funds on gaming machines safely and in a seamless way, in the process of delivering the optimum digitalised customer journey. Becoming the first company in Europe to transfer digital funds in and out of gaming machines at a large scale in a secure and compliant way is a highlight for the brand and for the team that makes the brand so special and of course for our partners.
CS: 2021 has been a major challenge to the way businesses operate. How have you risen to this challenge?
It’s been all about the strength and passion of the team. I always believe that it’s the people behind the brand that makes the brand and that applies equally in the good and the ‘not so good’ times. Businesses need to be robust and sustainable, but you cannot achieve that simply with a strong balance sheet. The values that power the brand lie with the personalities that represent it every minute of the day. OKTO is blessed to have a team that’s both curious and humble, that never stops exploring new and better ways of doing things, that has a passion for the industry sectors that it serves and that has empathy both for our partners and also for the world in which we live, which explains why we are passionate in our support for not for profit environmental causes. I think that if we can behave as good, responsible corporate citizens it helps engender the values that sustain all types of organisations – including brands like ours.
CS: What are your aspirations for the brand in 2022?
It’s vital that OKTO builds on the platform that we started in the UK over this year. Fundamentally, the more visibility that we achieve the more we are able to accelerate our business development strategy. As such we will be exhibiting in our own right at both EAG and at ICE London. We had a successful ACOS, and EAG is our next stop. EAG is a bigger event and we have our own stand from which we will be able to explain how the OKTO cashless app plays an integral role in circulating disposable leisure spend within a business from gaming machine winnings to the purchase of food and drinks as well as satisfying the needs and desires of modern digital consumers. Previously we’ve described the UK as being one of if not the most important entertainment, leisure and gaming markets in Europe: in 2022 through our actions, we want to show that we are serious about addressing the needs of the UK market, that we are investing in our presence in the UK and that we are extremely positive about this market. We aim to build on the momentum that’s been built and to hit the ground running in 2022 beginning with our first ever appearance at EAG.