The recent furore over the spate of affordability checks, their intrusive nature, and quite often the delay in approving withdrawals have created friction points between operators and their customers.
As such, punters are reporting AML often only occurs following a win and attempted withdrawal, leading to unacceptable delays in processing. Others claim operators are requesting more documents than a mortgage provider, all of which is giving the industry another bad look, despite the intentions, hopefully, being for the good of society.
Tim Berners-Lee, when inventing the world wide web in 1989, intended that it would empower individuals, use common formats, and make the idea of ‘connectivity and sharing’ much slicker than the reality of what has actually happened.
Today’s web benefits data miners and companies looking to exploit the data in ‘silos’ containing millions of individuals’ data; all collated from online form filling. Every new account on every website requires a new form.
In more recent times it is possible to use an existing account (Google, for example), or social network to avoid some of the form filling, but all that is doing is allowing your personal data to be shared by more than one organisation, as well as refining the intrusive personal data it already has.
This is ‘sold’ to the user as allowing for tailoring so that the services presented are ones that the user may be interested in, but really this is ecommerce in its most invasive form. Through Inrupt, a technology company, Tim and his team of web pioneers have built Solid, a technology for organising data, applications, and identities on the web.
Berners-Lee believes that “our current approach to data is fundamentally broken”, with the online economy the only one benefitting; by exploiting the data of its users.
Solid allows individuals to keep their personal information in their own data “pod” located on a Solid server, or their own hardware. This data may contain all of their personal and important information- health, finance, identity and anything else that is personal and private. The individual can then grant certain apps limited access to said data in a read-only or read/write condition. When an app is no longer wanted access is swiftly removed.
A sizable advantage for operator platforms, should this technology gain traction, would be in not having to worry about building back-end data aggregators; Solid would act as a plug-in module API feed.
Solid users would not have to produce affordability check data over and over. Similarly, they wouldn’t be required to submit identity paperwork every time they opened a new betting account.
For this to be technically feasible it requires the big players to adopt the Solid framework. Therein lies its biggest challenge, while companies are still benefitting from storing our data for their own, possibly nefarious uses, it will be tough to sell this ethos.
However, the upside, especially for the betting industry could lie in less admin, form filling and a frictionless experience for customers when signing-up or trying to pass KYC or AML requirements.
NB… It should be noted that I have no stake in either Inrupt or Solid, this is purely a thought-piece on a newly emerging technology that could have beneficial uses in our industry, for both customer and operator.
Jeevan Jeyaratnam – COO @Abelson Odds – Twitter @JeevesOdds