Paysafe Research Highlights Payments as Key to iGaming Experience

In recent research conducted by Paysafe, a prominent payments platform, it has been identified that rapid payouts and a diverse range of payment options are paramount for online sports bettors when initiating their engagement with sportsbooks. The study, titled “All the ways players pay” and conducted in December 2023, emphasizes the critical role of payment solutions in enhancing the customer experience within the iGaming sector, highlighting an increasing preference for digital wallets and cryptocurrencies among players.

The research involved a survey of 3,000 sports bettors across six U.S. states—Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania—the Canadian province of Ontario, and several European countries including the U.K., France, Germany, and Italy. Findings reveal that 37% of participants rate streamlined payouts as the most crucial factor in choosing a sportsbook, surpassing brand trust at 34%, odds at 29%, and promotions at 26%.

Additionally, the availability of preferred payment methods and seamless deposit processes each accounted for 26%, ranking higher in importance than user experience, sports market offerings, and sponsorships. This insight underscores the significance of integrating a wide array of payment solutions to cater to diverse player preferences, thereby facilitating customer acquisition and retention for iGaming operators.

The study further indicates that payment experiences play a vital role in maintaining player loyalty, with 78% of bettors considering it a key factor for sticking with a brand. This sentiment is especially pronounced in Italy (88%), New York (84%), and Germany (80%).

Payment preferences among bettors are evolving, with debit cards (38%) slightly leading over digital wallets (37%) globally. However, digital wallets have become the preferred payment method in Italy (53%) and Germany (52%), showcasing their convenience for facilitating transactions across multiple sportsbooks, particularly among VIP players who bet frequently.

Despite restrictions in certain markets like the U.K. and Massachusetts, credit cards continue to hold substantial popularity globally and in the U.S., with a notable preference in France (47%). Conversely, eCash and local payment methods (LPMs) demonstrate a niche but significant preference among bettors, highlighting the importance of offering a comprehensive suite of payment options to meet varied customer needs.

The research also sheds light on the growing confidence among players regarding the transactional security provided by sportsbooks, although there remains a need for continuous improvement in this area.

Looking ahead, the adoption of alternative payment methods (APMs), including digital wallets, eCash, and cryptocurrencies, is expected to rise, with 58% of participants anticipating increased use of APMs by the end of 2025. Interest in cryptocurrency payments is particularly strong in the U.S., with 58% of players open to this option, surging to 72% in New York, contingent upon regulatory approval.

Paysafe’s findings illustrate the evolving landscape of payment preferences in the iGaming industry, emphasizing the necessity for operators to offer a broad spectrum of secure, convenient, and rapid payment solutions to enhance the overall player experience and foster long-term loyalty.

Zak Cutler, President of Global Gaming at Paysafe, commented: “Our latest research clearly indicates the value of payments to online sportsbook operators at all stages of the player experience. Operators that optimize their payment offering will gain a competitive advantage when starting their brand’s relationship with new bettors. Given the correlation between the payment experience and brand loyalty, operators can maximize player retention by getting payments right. This includes upgrading their cashiers to cover all possible payment choices to meet evolving transactional expectations.”

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