Tony Joeglal, VP Sales and Marketing at Euro Payment Group (EPG), tells us that an operator needs to offer local payment solutions to build the best relationships with its players, why providing services to former anti-gambling countries should be treated as an opportunity, and how – regardless of any country specific regulations – online gamblers expect to enjoy a quick and easy experience.
SBC: Can you give our readers a quick outline of the Euro Payment Group (EPG) services for the online gambling industry?
Tony Joeglal: EPG processes, collects, reconciles, consolidates and pays out to merchants through a single contract, single integration and single platform. We work closely with merchants to optimize the payments ecosystem, providing an extensive portfolio of over 150 payments methods, risk management and verification solutions.
Whatever a consumer desires, whether it’s to use a traditional credit card, a digital wallet or another alternative payment (which could be some form of crypto), our goal is to deliver a fast, seamless and easy user experience.
SBC: How is the EPG offering unique to other industry incumbents? Is there scope for you to really disrupt the sector?
TJ: The EPG offering goes beyond online payment services and functions. We act as valuable partners, helping our customers to enter new markets, overcome regulatory issues and facilitate international payments. Our long-term FinTech experience has taught us that customization is key because payments aren’t one-size-fits-all.
Thus, we have built a completely modular payment solution which adapts flexibly to the needs of the particular business model. It is worth mentioning here that our core expertise lies in the middle to high risk digital entertainment. On top of that, our in-depth market knowledge, and solid local network in emerging markets like South East Asia, Africa and LATAM can lead to competitive advantage for both EPG and the operator involved.
SBC: As more countries come online, can the payments industry keep up? Is servicing regions that have traditionally been anti-gambling more of a challenge?
TJ: As online gaming continues to expand geographically, new ways to pay are emerging to cater to the respective new market and facilitate a more seamless customer experience. The payments industry is now evolving at a rapid pace with new providers, platforms, and payment tools launching on a nearly daily basis.
Servicing regions that have traditionally been anti-gambling requires first and foremost the understanding of the regulatory environment, the banking ecosystem and the customer preferences. If operators want to build a closer relationship with the player, they need to offer local payment solutions and keep up with innovation.
Once that is done, the challenge of servicing former anti-gambling countries could easily become a great opportunity for both operators and payment providers.
SBC: With the regulatory pressure to provide player engagement, onboarding, verification and key data, has the value chain become too convoluted?
TJ: The regulatory ecosystem regarding players obviously has become more challenging, however the complicated value chain creates opportunities for innovative players and solutions in the payments market.
In the last few years, we’ve already witnessed a rapid evolution in online gaming payments, including faster deposits and withdrawals, one-click features, and built-in biometrics. Regardless of the new regulations, online gamblers expect to have a fast, seamless and easy experience.
Research shows that more than 25 per cent of online users have abandoned registering a new account with a gambling website due to its complicated sign-up processes. Thus, operators, in partnership with payment providers, need to speed up the process of finding new ways to identify and authenticate customers while delivering a smooth user journey.
Providing friction-free authentication is crucial for preventing a significant hit to conversion. Along with the need for speed in innovation, there is also the successful handling of Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) exemptions which will become a key component for an operator focused on providing the best payments experience for its customers.
SBC: Finally, what should be top of an operator’s tick list when selecting a payment provider?
TJ: For us, this comes back to three key factors.
1. Security: This is obviously a key concern when it comes to accepting, processing, storing, or transmitting customer data and payment information. Therefore, you should make sure your future payment provider is level 1 compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
These set of security standards are put in place to ensure that online payments are maintained in a secure environment. If you were weighing using EPG as your payment gateway of choice for example, you would see that we are indeed PCI DSS Level 1 certified.
2. Using one channel for multiple payments: Offering a growing number of payment options is crucial for the conversion but maintaining them relates to a lot of extra costs, labor, and security issues.
That being said, there are payment service provider like us, which would enable access to multiple local and international payment methods with just one integration and one contract. Hence, choosing wisely would automatically save the operator time and costs.
3. Fraud protection: You should also consider the fraud protection and screening tools offered from the provider. Most payment gateways, EPG included, partner with specialized compliance and anti-fraud companies providing global data sources thus checking your customer payments in real-time for any suspicious transactions.
It goes without saying that besides of the three factors mentioned above, the payment provider of choice should offer fast and easy payments towards end users and frictionless onboarding towards operators.