eCash in Social Casino and Skill Gaming: What Operators Need to Know

Social casino and skill games – where consumers play for entertainment rather than real-money gaming – are thriving. Here’s how operators can use online cash to deliver a better experience to a growing customer base.

Social casinos are growing, fast, with the industry expected to reach $11.9bn by 2031. But challenges remain.

Operators offering players free-to-play casino-style online games are facing more competition, a rise in organised fraud, and the potential for regulation.

To reach the industry’s vast potential, operators must cater to evolving player expectations to meet the needs of the widest possible audience. Offering alternative payment methods (APMs) like eCash can help them achieve this.

The growing social casino and skill game market

There is growing consumer appetite for free-to-play online slots and table games, especially in established markets such as the UK, US and Italy. And now, players passionate about social casino and skill games are seeking new experiences.

As a result, developers are launching new games, many of which can be played on most mobile devices. This broadening availability is opening opportunities in developing regions.

To tap into this opportunity, operators must embrace secure payment solutions, accessible to anyone, anywhere – including the underbanked or unbanked.

But first, how do players like to pay?

How players pay with social casino and skill game players?

Purchasing tokens and chips is a vital part of the social casino or skill game experience. Real money may not be at stake, but players are required to make in-game purchases to play at the level they desire. More chips and tokens mean players have more time to enjoy their favourite games.

To deliver a great experience and ensure players keep playing, operators must allow them to purchase tokens and chips in a way that’s swift, secure, and friction-free.

This is why it’s imperative that operators offer the payment options players want – whether that’s debit and credit cards, or fast-growing APMs like online cash, also known as eCash.

What is online cash?

eCash allows consumers to make online purchases using cash, with either a prepaid or postpaid approach.

For prepaid, players visit a retail point of sale like a convenience store and purchase a voucher card using physical currency. The card contains a unique code which is then entered into the operator’s payment gateway – typically the social casino or skill game site. The balance on the voucher is transferred to the player’s online account at the social casino, where they can make in-game purchases.

The post-payment option creates a transaction barcode within the cashier of the game that can be paid later in a conveniently located store, or other specific retail locations.

eCash allows operators to reach more people around the world, including those who are unbanked or underbanked, who can now access digital games using cash. It also satisfies security concerns – by not requiring players to enter their financial details, which can be a stumbling block for consumers.

Now, eCash is growing increasingly popular with free-to-play social casino and skill game players – and can be hugely beneficial for operators hoping to realise the market’s vast potential.

by Zak Cutler, President Global Gaming, Paysafe

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