iGaming 2024: Maximising Customer Experiences Through Better Payments
Apart from the game content itself, payment processes are probably the single most important part of creating a successful iGaming operation and encouraging a positive customer experience. However, due to overarching commercial pressures, many payment solutions providers are forced to impose increasingly expensive fees and restrictions on their operators that filter down and have an adverse effect on the customer journey.
At Aircash, they believe they have found a way to avoid these obstacles, providing a market-leading payment experience whilst still enabling operators to remain competitive and give their players the best experience at the best price.
We caught up with Mark Watts, Executive Director iGaming for Aircash, to find out how they’ve made this possible and, most importantly, to hear what we can do as an industry to improve the payments sector – without negatively impacting that all-important end-user experience.
What are some of the key issues operators face when dealing with market-leading payment providers? How does this ultimately impact the customer experience?
“Historically, established payment providers generally prioritize shareholder value and stock market performance. As a consequence, revenue growth becomes the primary focus for some payment companies, leading operators to question whether this aligns with their strategy.
“Established operators often face challenges due to product development and commercial pressures, and, in my experience, some companies struggle to adapt within a reasonable time frame. This can result in complacency creeping into the operator’s thought process.
“Aircash has concentrated on servicing the needs and desires of gaming users with simplicity.
“The primary focus is to understand the motivation behind the necessity of an e-wallet, and the answers are simple when broken down. The goal is to simplify cash usage for online deposits and withdrawals; prioritize security, without imposing exorbitant fees; offer the ability to use a service for online transactions with widely distributed MasterCard capability; enable account loading from a bank account, and facilitate contactless payments with Apple Pay and Google Pay.
“Additionally, person-to-person money transfer is an added feature, benefiting expatriates and families. AI verification tools have also been adopted since the launch of the new technology 18- months-ago.
“We are an innovative company with a customer-centric approach. The customer is always our primary focus.”
What are some of the practical things operators can do to help improve the customer payments experience?
“In the landscape of online gaming, the paramount objective for operators lies in the establishment of a seamless financial transaction infrastructure that harmonises user convenience, with strict adherence to regulatory protocols – notably in the domains of Anti Money Laundering and Compliance. At the crux of this endeavour is the mandate conferred upon the payment teams within the operational hierarchy, charged with the intricate responsibility of navigating a nuanced decision-making process.
“This process involves an exhaustive consideration of multiple facets, including the imperative of expansive coverage, the implementation of user interfaces conducive to sustained player engagement, the efficacious management of depositary mechanisms, and the facilitation of a withdrawal process, characterised by fluidity and user satisfaction.
“Beyond these foundational considerations, the optimal selection must encompass judicious commercial terms, the application of favourable foreign exchange rates to merchant settlements, the seamless integration of services and a strategic market-penetration approach.
“In this discerning environment, a payment service provider assumes a pivotal role, demanding attributes of adaptability, agility and an unwavering commitment to delivering superlative customer experiences.
“Aircash, as a distinctive exemplar, emerges as a transformative force, transcending geographical barriers and cultivating strategic partnerships with regulated iGaming operators on a global scale.
“Distinguished by its innovative modus operandi and dedication to service excellence, Aircash is poised to redefine the contours of financial interactions within the evolving landscape of online gaming.”
Due to market pressures, operators are being increasingly squeezed with the costs by their suppliers. How has Aircash been able to realign itself to be better commercially suited to its customers’ needs?
“Operators often express dissatisfaction with certain established payment providers due to a perceived inclination to prioritise their own commercial interests over addressing challenges faced by iGaming operators. Within the framework of regulated markets in Europe, iGaming operators must conscientiously consider factors such as: Taxation costs, legal obligations and infrastructure requirements when engaging in local markets.
“Aircash, acknowledging the dynamic evolution of the iGaming market–and the shifting market conditions–demonstrates agility in adapting to these changes. Recognizing the complexity and demands of the industry, we adopt a pragmatic approach to further solidify our commitment to meet the needs of our client base. This strategic perspective aligns with the broader industry context, wherein platform providers, facing similar market constraints, are compelled to evolve in response to prevailing challenges.”
New technology emerging on the market, such as AI, has created a lot of new development opportunities for solution providers. Is this something you’re currently investing in, and, if so, how can it be best leveraged to help drive the future growth of the iGaming market?
“The integration of AI in iGaming holds significant promise for solution providers. AI enhances user engagement through personalised experiences; fortifies security with real-time fraud detection; enables data-driven decision-making; streamlines customer support with AI-powered chatbots; fosters innovation in game development; ensures Responsible Gaming measures; optimises marketing strategies through predictive analysis, and opens avenues for virtual and augmented reality integration.
“Leveraging these AI-driven initiatives positions iGaming solution providers at the forefront of innovation and growth.”
After speaking with Mark, it’s easy to understand how the commercial pressures of the market can have an adverse effect on the quality of payment products that operators are able to offer their players.
However, through keen innovation and strategic partnerships, Aircash have been able to circumvent these market conditions – and provide operators with the best chance for customer satisfaction, keeping costs down and enhancing accessibility.
We look forward to seeing more of the industry adopt these types of solutions and continue to push the iGaming market to a more customer-centric based model.