Payments are key and major elements in the gaming experience. In both online and retail, players are increasingly looking for fast, seamless and convenient ways to pay. Operators must be ready, as outlined Daniele Tagliarini, a payment expert and Managing Director | Italy of OKTO in this interview with Gioconews.
1. What is the way to build and implement seamless payment processes, especially when it comes to the gaming & betting landscape?
Regardless of the industry whether that be for online or retail gaming or for buying goods or services in a mall or via e-commerce, customers always crave fast, easy, secure payment methods, while also these to be in real-time, as they simply want to be gratified instantly. In the gaming industry, this is even more obvious, where instant gratification is linked to the increasingly immersive, omni-channel gaming experience, and if you want to ensure customer loyalty, it’s essential to meet the real-time gratification requirement. And as consumers increasingly embrace the digital, fast-paced, omni-channel era, their expectation for frictionless and convenient transactions will continue to grow. To keep up with these ever-growing expectations, while in parallel with data security and new gaming and payment regulations in place, operators need to adopt more secure, omni-channel payments technologies and create a unified experience across all channels and touchpoints with the user. But it’s crucial for any operation to choose a reliable solutions partner that is focusing on the nuanced needs of operators but has also the deep know-how of payments.
2. Consumers are demanding more personalized experiences. How important is the personalization of payment methods? Does also localization play an important part?
It’s true that consumers are embracing the digital world, and payments cannot miss from the equation. Of course, you can clearly see that igaming players are quite familiar with digital payment methods. Still in many regions, consumers count cash as the most convenient or at least more rewarding payment method. Even for e-commerce, you can see consumers’ demand for cash-based methods. But in Europe, you can see that more and more consumers crave digital, tap-and-go payments. It’s definitely not one-size-fits-all. To effectively reach the audience, you need a local and personalised approach, but also educate users on alternative solutions. It’s not only about safety and speed but also about the choices that the users have available. It’s crucial to be able to adopt different solutions in different geographical areas. For us it’s clear that understanding the local market including regulations, economics, and cultural differences, it’s essential, not only to drive local success but bring to users the experience that they crave. And with technology that is rising in an unstoppable way, with the CRM segmentation abilities, AI technology, loyalty strategy and all combined in a mobile-first approach seems straightforward to achieve it.
3. Is it the same for retail and online? How difficult is it for the retail environment to embrace modern, digital payment methods?
Let’s look at the giants – Amazon, Uber, and WeChat have one common feature. All have harnessed the untapped power of the payment experience in enhancing the customer journey and have based their success on it. Should gaming follow suit? Payments whether that be for retail or online play a crucial part in the consumer experience. To follow industry movers and shakers, retail operators need to modernise the payment experience and this to be in a faster, easier, safer, and more compliant way, responding to customer demands. I heard recently an interesting panel comprised of leading casino operators saying that cashless in retail the future, but I come to highlight that now is the future. We are living in a cashless era and pandemic accelerated that. Players are now well educated in what it means cashless real-time digital payments. What we are seeing now in Europe with our retail operator partners that have adopted OKTO solutions as part of their strategy is a progressive approach and digitalisation and digital payments are a key part of it to guarantee secure, omni-channel and responsible payment experiences.
4. How important is this move, considering the regulatory changes?
The gaming industry is a heavily regulated sector, where the expectations for compliance, data protection, and social responsibility are higher than any other consumer market. The payments ecosystem, however, is associated with continually evolving monitoring tools and systems to guarantee users’ security. Our mission is to transform sectors that are considered “high-risk” into normal businesses Our team is made up of gaming, payments, and compliance experts, and we are well-equipped to respond to the needs of such heavily regulated industries via a fully digital, secure, and cashless ecosystem, in a safe KYC environment with improved controls. With this strategy in place, money laundering and fraud will be addressed and eliminated. The major factor that we emphasize and give more insight, is the security side of payments. We have to be responsible for this for both merchants and consumers, providing payments solutions in a convenient, compliant way through a future-proof model without fraud or legal issues. OKTO is fully aligned with regulators and develops solutions that comply with the requirements of the government authorities, but to effectively accompany the process of digitilisation of payments, all operators and institutions must act together in creating new technological and regulatory standards.