What are the payment challenges facing the online Gambling industry?
Published 25th October, 2019 by StuartThe online gambling industry continues to dominate the financial market, with the latest Gambling Commission report showing the industry grossing £14.5bn in the UK alone between 2017-18, with a 1.2% increase in market share (up to 38.8% of the total industry) for remote sector online gambling providers. But with great power comes great responsibility, and increasing regulations and barriers to ensuring consumer payments are locked down.
From differing market regulations blocking international operations to complex sign-up procedures putting punters off, we’ve taken a look at the key barriers to online gambling payments.
Fraud is a huge concern for the consumer, but as a gambling business you’ll be affected too. The rise in prominence of the online gambling industry makes it more accessible to all, which means it’s also more vulnerable to fraud. Theatrematrix claim that 1 in every 20 new sign ups is a fraudulent one, and that at peak times fraudsters, bots and users trying to outsmart the programmes can account for as much as half of your page traffic.
Consumers can lose huge amounts of money if they are defrauded, but the resulting rigorous security can be a turn-off for potential users. It can cost you, too, as the responsibility often falls on businesses to refund consumer losses.
Sign-up is a high-risk moment for the user, but they’re at risk of fraud at every stage of their gambling experience. As the platform host, you need to make sure the measures are in place to protect your players. This could mean a large cost to your company, and requires constant monitoring and watertight policies.
Another form of fraud your business could fall prey to is so-called ‘friendly fraud’; friendly fraud encompasses cases where genuine customers chance it by using multiple accounts, devices, or those where multiple users work together to best the bots. Though a lesser threat, users taking advantage of bonuses, playing against themselves or colluding to manipulate the outcome of the game can have a significant effect on company profits and the fair play of innocent users.
How to prevent Fraud in online gambling
How do you safeguard online payments against fraud? It’s important to have consistent monitoring, not just of initial sign-up, but also of repeat log-ins, withdrawals and deposits, and actual gameplay, as well as thorough Anti-Money Laundering regulations.
The most bulletproof way to prevent fraud at the point of payment is to use secure payment processes, for example 3D Secure 2. Check out our article explaining the details of 3DS2 here.
Payment providers don’t always cater to online gambling companies due to the high-risk nature of their transactions, but certain payment providers like Quaife are optimised for this nature of business. Quaife run up to 120 risk checks and have advanced fraud protection built into all services.
Some of the more popular individual internal fraud prevention options include:
- 3D Secure
- Alternative Payment Method
- Black and whitelisting
- Geo IP location checks
- Velocity checks
- Device fingerprinting
Variable market regulations
Gambling is a highly regulated industry, but those regulations aren’t standardised across international borders - an increasingly fiddly problem for gambling companies operating online, and therefore unlikely to be restricted to one country. This means that if you have a licence for the UK you aren’t necessarily allowed to accept all international custom, as you may also need a domestic licence for various other countries in which you plan to operate.
It’s a good idea to keep a close eye on each individual market in which you operate for any regulation changes in order to avoid flouting them, which can lead to fines and even trading bans.
The key commonality of all European markets are strict Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering requirements. Every user must undertake a rigorous identification process to ensure their true identity is established and then be assessed to mitigate the potential for money laundering and other fraudulent behaviours.
A major risk of running an online gambling business is the repayment of chargebacks, which you’re liable to pay a credit card company, a bank or paypal for a disputed transaction. Reasons customers can request chargebacks are non-receipt of services, fraudulent payments, and dissatisfaction with the services provided. Evidence is often difficult to produce and it can be hard to dispute that payments were fraudulent at all, so customers can request and are often awarded chargebacks for simple cases of buyers remorse.
Perhaps the most sinister occurrences of chargebacks are the users who have been banned for fraudulent activity reclaiming their initial deposits - a double blow for any gambling platform. The more chargebacks you have to pay, the greater the impact on your profits and reputation, so strong security systems and unambiguous policy and disciplinary procedures are a must.
Low conversion rates
An adverse effect of doubling down on security measures when it comes to customer sign-ups (i.e. ensuring they are able to submit proof of age, identity and other rigorous checks) is the potential it has to discourage people from committing to actually playing. This can reduce conversion rates and have an impact on your profits and statistics.
In response to the rise in fraud, the security processes banks and payment providers are able to offer are increasingly reliable. New advancements in secure payment processes that automate the verification processes, known as Strong Customer Authentication, which are now mandatory throughout the European Economic Area, are streamlining payment processes for the consumer whilst simultaneously ensuring payments are more secure. This safeguards you business, profits and ensures customer satisfaction.
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