W2 releases first real time affordability solution for UK operators

W2 has launched a new real-time affordability check solution to support the needs of operators adapting to evolving compliance guidance from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).

UKGC guidance requires licensees to put affordability at the heart of their safer gambling commitments for 2021, and will undoubtedly become a central focus in the Gambling Act review, particularly as so many fines have emanated from affordability failings.

The W2 affordability solution gives operators a real-time view of what a consumer earns on an individual level, but most importantly without the need for additional customer interaction. 

Using authorised and compliant banking data feeds that can be used for customer protection purposes, the solution can cover a period up to 24 months and across joint and sole accounts, as well as including multiple addresses. Data on this scale, said the company, provides real insights on an individual customer level.

Peter Murray (pictured), W2 Head of Sales, commented: “If you look at any of the pronouncements from the regulators in the UK and the upcoming review of the UK Gambling Act, front and centre to everything they’re doing is affordability. 

“For us at W2 it is all about offering a solution which removes friction but is compliant, and we believe that this new affordability solution is suited to both the needs of the regulator, the challenges the operators face, and the consumers desire to be protected from harm.”

Murray stressed that the solution must only be used by operators to ensure responsible gaming, and not as a means of acquiring information to influence marketing to players.

Kevin Fox, W2 Senior Product Manager, added: “The solution is split into two main parts. Level one offers an affordability index which leverages the data to give results on account activity including levels of income and turnover in the account and collates this into a score-based response. 

“Level two offers more in-depth insight which allows the operator to collect and verify the declared income of the customer. These two components are a massive step in the right direction for safer gambling.”

W2 will also be working with its strategic partner, Gibraltar-based Crucial Compliance, on the release of the affordability solution. Together, the two firms believe that it can have a positive impact on the industry by significantly reducing issues surrounding responsible gambling and player protection. 

Andy Masters, COO at Crucial Compliance, commented: “We are absolutely delighted to officially release this affordability solution. Since partnering with W2 in late 2020 we have combined our resources to bring to market a solution which is not only frictionless and solves real time, real data affordability, but is also built into our player management solution. 

“We have worked hard to ensure that this is as easy as possible for operators to continue to meet the needs of the regulators now and in the future.”

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