In 2012, ECOMMPAY spotted a “gap in the market” for gaming-focused payment service providers by launching a bespoke solution that could be customised to each client’s business needs.
Six years on, the firm’s Head of Operations and Customer Relations Arthur Gots sat down with SBC News to discuss the outdated ‘one-size-fits-all’ model, evolving within a tighter regulatory landscape, playing a supporting role in the acquisition of millennials, and targeting “deeper regional penetration” through an understanding of preferred payment options from one region to another.
SBC: What inspired the launch of the company back in 2012?
AG: The core founding principle behind ECOMMPAY has always been the desire to simplify payments for both the client – operator, in this case – and consumer, ensuring a tailored approach, security, and maximum convenience every step of the way.
The company was initially founded to address a gap we noticed in the market. More than six years ago, when we were just starting out, the majority of companies in our space were offering out-of-the-box payment solutions. A bespoke payment solution, customised to each client’s business specifications, ensured that operators could capitalise on the areas which those one-size-fits-all solutions missed.
SBC: ECOMMPAY has increased its staff count to more than 500, from just 10 in 2012; what gave you the confidence to support such growth?
AG: The industry we operate in is constantly evolving, so we have to evolve in parallel. As competitors recognised the value of our tailored approach and began replicating it, we adapted and continue adapting. The shifting demands of players determine our priorities, as operators will no doubt be demanding new functionality in response.
The simple answer is that the more work we do, the more work there is. There are endless new challenges to tackle, requiring more and more brainpower. Though we’ve grown quickly as a result, we never lose sight of our objectives and continue to ensure that each new member of our team shares our mission, vision, and values.
SBC: What key regulatory challenges have been thrust upon payment providers in recent years?
AG: In addition to the usual suspects – compliance to PCI DSS, FCA licensing – our biggest challenge was navigating the two regulatory initiatives that came into force this year: Revised Directive on Payment Services (PSD2) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
When our company was founded, the regulatory landscape was still quite hazy, but recent years have seen the introduction of multiple regulations, both country specific and pan-European, as well as updates to outdated legal frameworks. Wanting to establish our reputation for being reliable and secure, we ensured that we were fully compliant with the regulations in each of the jurisdictions we operate in.
As a result, we became well-versed in licensing requirements, which enabled us to advise clients. We also understood the importance of preparing for incoming regulation ahead of time, adapting our processes in a timely manner. This knowledge and experience were invaluable to informing our approach to this year’s regulatory requirements. We became fully compliant ahead of the final deadline and were therefore able to offer clients our advice based on our own experience.
SBC: What role does the payment solutions provider have in attracting the millennial generation?
AG: We are not responsible for attracting players in the straightforward manner – with ads, marketing, etc. Rather, we customise the payment process, including the customer experience, risk management technologies, access to additional geographical markets, to each operator and their audience.
For a free-to-play online game, we provide an iFrame payment page that matches the look and feel of the game. Additionally, we can add value with payment products such as tokenisation (security), OneClick Payment (conversion), and alternative payment methods (market access).
Meanwhile, for a betting operator, we combine several approaches. To ensure an omnichannel experience, we adapt our payment page to multiple devices. For convenience, we introduce OneClick Payment. To broaden the operator’s geographical reach, we add selected alternative payment methods in addition to standard card acquiring.
SBC: Finally, what sort of payment methods hold prominence today that were not around when you first started out?
AG: As mentioned previously, the payments industry is constantly evolving. This is particularly visible when observing the changing consumer payment preferences by geographical region. In the EU, for example, cards continue to dominate, but several local alternatives have arisen in recent years.
Operators working in those territories must ensure that they provide preferred payment options if they are targeting deeper regional penetration. In Asia-Pacific, WeChat and Alipay are the biggest brands, but largely due to their prominence in China. As the region is quite diverse, other countries have different preferences. Therefore, each country – much like each operator – needs a unique, tailored, individual approach.