SBC Summit North America – Session Preview: The Future of the Payments Journey with Entain

This week all roads lead to the highly anticipated SBC Summit North America. With so much activity and growth happening currently in the US market, it’s hard not to be excited about this event. SBC have curated some of the leading lights from this burgeoning sector to give attendees a truly valuable insight into North American iGaming and where the most practical opportunities for growth can be found.

Considering the history this market has with PASPA laws and the Wire Act, it’s easy to understand why payments are at the top of the agenda, especially for multijurisdictional operators still trying to get to grips with this evolving gaming landscape.

Gabriele Griesbacher is the Global Director Payments and Compliance at iGaming giant, Entain. She will be one of the key speakers at the show this week, discussing all things payment related. We caught up with her to hear more about her panel session and what her thoughts are on the future of the customer payment journey in the US.

What is your panel session about and who else is joining your panel?

“In the panel session, I will be joined by payment experts from the American market. We will talk about the player journey and how it can be best delivered via the operator portal. The industry leaders on my panel will include two leading payment providers, a representative from the eSports environment and a speaker from the American gambling association. We will be exploring the igaming space as well, looking at how the market is behaving but most importantly, we are going to talk about the key dynamics involved in delivering a ‘best in market’ player journey, whether you’re a VIP or just a casual user.

“What we have learnt from the last couple of years is that it’s very, very important for us to look at the user journey which starts, ideally, from when the customers sign up on your gaming platform, hopefully leading into a deposit. So, it’s very important that there is a robust deposit mechanism actually put in place. In order to do so, there are several kinds of compliance steps that need to take place as well. This is also a key element that we will discuss in my panel session.”

What sort of payment technologies are you most excited about that can truly put the player at the heart of the operator’s payment process?

“There’s no straightforward answer to this question. When analyzing the tech environment and what it has to offer, we must remember that we are acting globally and need to support several regions with relevant payment facilities.

“Looking at the US market, it’s very important to understand what is needed in that market. Understanding what customers are using on a day-to-day basis in the retail environment. Whether it be cards, banking facilities, vouchers or even cash, which can be traded between the real world and the e-commerce environments. Added to this, we also must consider what works well between different media, Is it available on a mobile device? Is it something that can be done in a web environment? Therefore proper research needs to be done upfront, before understanding which payment tech we can really get excited about.

“We know now that we need to look into different technologies, which is not only card payments but several kinds of ACH methods. We have been testing these in the US where there’s already good interaction between the user and one-click payment methods. These are great because it enables subsequent deposits to be done quickly and easily.

“There are also some new developments out there regarding QR code payments, which we are also likely to introduce. For us, it’s mainly about a user experience, which we are creating across the different payment methods. It’s pretty hard to give a straightforward answer because each and every area and region has their own exciting tech solutions.

“To give you an example, in LatAm, we have introduced a specific payment method that works via QR codes. The introduction of this payment option meant that usage drastically increased along with user engagement and FTDs. This is because we listened to what our users were saying and understood their specific needs. This is what gets me excited, truly being able to leverage technology to give the customer a seamless experience, regardless of their location in the world.”

What is the biggest challenge to maximizing the customer payment journey and how can it be overcome if at all?

“I’m sure there is a lot of magic around it and everybody has their own perspective on it. The most significant challenge I’ve experienced over the last couple of years is the task of really being able to understand your customers’ needs. What do they actually want? What do they see?

“It’s very important to look at it, end to end from the very first moment the user enters your webpage or mobile platform and where they end up. Plus, what difficulties did they experience in between? We’ve carried out strong research around that over the last couple of years which has driven us to introduce a new kind of checkout experience on the platform.

“Not only in the gaming space, we also looked up what other retailers are actually providing, the famous example of Amazon and how easy they make it in a checkout phase in order to help the user to do a payment.

“This is what was heavily considered when developing our UK payment experience where there’s massive mobile usage. In the UK at least 70% of our traffic comes from mobile usage. So, we’ve now introduced the swipe option to navigate to the payments page.

“The challenge of being able to understand our customers and match their needs is huge and also continuous. We’re always learning new things about our customers and being able to translate these learning into real-world customer journey improvements is how we truly overcome the issues and provide our customers with maximum value.”

Why is it so important for you to attend events such as SB summit North America?

“First of all, it’s a good exchange of information and it’s important that there’s a lot of talk around that specific topic with regards to the user experience and what makes an experience safe as well.

“Although my participation in the session will be virtual and I won’t be there in person, I think it’s really great for everyone to be there in person after such a long time without any events. This is something the industry really needs. The more communication and collaboration there is between the igaming stakeholders, the easier it will be for our sector to continue to grow and thrive. Events like SBC Summit are great as they facilitate the perfect environment for this and I’m disappointed that I can’t be there in person. I look forward to meeting up with everyone soon!”

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