The importance of embracing the twin pillars of trust and integrity has been underlined by Rob Peché, OKTO’s UK Country Manager in a thought leadership piece of Coinslot.
According to Peché, the core requirements needed to achieve these pillars of trust are a tangible commitment to KYC (Know Your Customer) protocols together with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance. He explained: “KYC and AML cannot be described as ‘nice to haves’ rather they should be viewed as ‘must haves’, and in a fully compliant and secure way if we are to deliver a safe and responsible environment for players, venues, operators, and society at large.”
Companies that distribute e-money are obliged to identify their customers while distributors must determine whether the customer is a so-called politically exposed person. “KYC is simply about establishing that the user is who they claim to be, but this should be placed in a fully secure and compliant environment,” stated Peché. “It helps to detect and prevent any unwanted users such as mule accounts and criminals, but it also verifies the age of potential players, preventing underage gambling.”
He added: “Significantly OKTO has the required authorisation to act as a distributor by a licenced and regulated Electronic Money Institution (E.M.I) which has granted approval for OKTO to provide services in the UK as well as EEA member states, having always in mind the users’ and merchants’ protection following robust KYC and AML rules.
Failure to have in place robust KYC protocols can not only damage the integrity of brands, causing huge reputational damage in the process but it can also undermine the initiatives undertaken by the industry in pursuit of a responsible safer gambling culture.
Peché explained “According to recent research conducted by Ipsos Mori on behalf of the Gambling Commission, some 37 percent of 11–16-year-olds in England and Scotland have gambled in 2020. As a consequence, it is imperative to have a safe KYC environment and an age verification process.”
KYC goes hand-in-hand with AML compliance. “AML framework should be followed properly and organisations that distribute e-money must conduct risk assessments of their customers whether they are merchants or end-users and must include KYC and transaction monitoring. Effective compliance throws a spanner into this process and prevents any ‘dangerous’ actions. It is a given – a core element of any 21st-century platform in fintech.”
With a distinguished reputation as a respected fintech brand, OKTO takes its compliance rulebook from the payments sector, and all KYC and AML checks and controls, including robust transaction monitoring tools, are built-in.
“OKTO wallets address the KYC pain points because we onboard each and every individual user.” Stated Rob Peché.
“Together with law enforcement, KYC & AML compliance can help bring down entire criminal rings that rely on identity theft for funding. We should never forget that we are talking about consumers’ as well as merchants’ funds which should remain safe and secure, in the process creating a responsible payment experience and a trusted cashless gaming environment.”
He continued: “Our business specifications come from the entertainment and gaming industry. So not only have we already built the mechanisms because the regulators say so, but we are also improving on them as a consumer-facing proposition. We could say that there is a hybrid regulation from the payments and gambling sectors, ensuring the highest possible levels of compliance.”
With the way that Payments and FinTech are growing and developing, by setting up the payments platform and wallet technology in a way that the APIs are dynamic, it’s possible to achieve a best of breed service drawing on expertise in the RegTech space. “OKTO is very well positioned, using proven technologies that combat ID fraud, verify age limits, and monitor every transaction, even in retail facilities and self-service unattended terminals. “I should add that this will only get better based on the way that the RegTech space is developing.” Rob Peché stated.
As an international brand, OKTO has identified the importance of addressing local needs, cultural conditions, and regulatory requirements at the same time as providing a versatile omni-channel solution that has responsible payments and safer gambling at its core. Rob Peché confirmed: “In today’s digital transformation era, our global operator partners want to be able to link their operations across different verticals (Adult Gaming Centres, Pubs, Casinos, Betting shops), channels (retail, online) and touchpoints within the same venue (gaming machines, venue app, cashier etc.), and “payments” is the linchpin.
“Wherever OKTO operates it does so in partnership with the local industry and individual customers in order to deliver payments solutions which meet the specific needs of the region, merchants and end-users. Understanding the nuances and characteristics of the local markets is essential.”
“Working with, listening to, and responding to the needs of customers has helped adapt the OKTO technology as a powerful tool to deliver responsible payments experiences in the industry.”
The App features all of the functions mandated by the industry, including secure KYC and age verification, a profit and loss calculator, and the ability for players to set ‘time-out’ periods and limits on their gaming spending. These functions are all a product of the dialogue that OKTO has with its customers and are vitally important to progressive operators and to their gaming regulators.
Peché concluded: “As we move into a fully digital and cashless environment – in a safe KYC environment, with improved controls and AML practices, enhanced scrutiny of problem gambling and money laundering will be addressed. A cashless environment through digital payments confirms gaming’s status as a modern industry at the same time as bolstering safer gaming.”