How To Make Sense of Mobile And Multi-Channel Gaming
Payments security is in the news again, with the hacking of media and telecommunications company, TalkTalk.
With the arrest of several teenagers allegedly responsible, and CEO Dido Harding confirming that “any credit card details that may have been accessed … are not usable for financial transactions,” a lot of people are now at ease.
However, the fact this can happen to phone companies, banks and retailers, rightly, makes many customers somewhat nervous when it comes to payment security on mobile devices. In a multi-channel world, whether, for retail or gaming companies, mobile devices are at the centre of many consumers’ brand experiences.
This means that picking a payments provider that puts fraud prevention, authentication and security at the centre of what they do, whilst ensuring customers have a seamless experience across devices, is more important than ever.
Across every sector, from banking to gaming, the laptop or PC browser is fast falling to second place compared to mobile browsers and apps. Given the variety of platforms, devices and screen sizes, we will, for the sake of clarity, place tablets within the catchall “mobile” phrase for this article.
What is Multichannel: In a Gaming Context?
Games brands usually operate across multiple channels, but they reach customers through different formats: web, mobile, app, social networks, and depending on the game through interactive TV channels or retail (lotteries).
Retailers usually introduce a multi-channel strategy, that has evolved into a cross or Omni-channel approach, whereby they can seamlessly offer the same experience across all channels.
How to Manage a Multi-Channel Payment Environment
The rules governing the payments industry, particularly when gaming and gambling is concerned, are more complex than in retail or other sectors. Fraud and theft are two areas games producers have to be mindful of all the time.
These days, Oceans Eleven would have a been team of hackers stealing consumer identities from online poker rooms, instead of a team of skilled thieves and con artists breaking into casinos and art galleries. These digital poker rooms, gambling houses and lotteries are now accessed across a wide range of devices and platforms, because that’s what customers want and expect.
As a result, legislation and security has been adapting quickly to customer needs. The growth in this market has been huge, reaching over $40 billion globally in 2015, from only $21 billion in 2008.
Managing security means taking into consideration the following:
Across a wide range of markets, there are multiple ways to verify ID, to comply with the law. Online gaming operators have to comply with verification procedures similar to most banks, which means ensuring your age, location and background checks are optimised to look out for criminals and those attempting to commit fraud.
When governments around the world, locally and nationally, ask for industry input on payments and security topics Secure Trading are often encouraged to contribute.
Our expert teams in the US and Europe have helped shape the laws and legislation this industry operates within, which gives us a unique understanding across a broad cross section of laws governing online gaming operators. We also keep a keen eye on legislative developments, new laws, committees and proposals, to ensure our customers receive the most timely and relevant information.
Europe is the most evolved online gaming market, with legislation that has encouraged other European countries to open up their markets to foreign online gaming operators.
In comparison, despite casinos and lotteries contributing over $360 billion to the US economy, online gaming and gambling is largely prohibited in the world’s largest market. Globally, the UK alone represents 37% of online gaming revenues, whereas America only represents 10%. In 2012, Europe was a larger market than Asia, at 37%, compared to 32% respectively; although Asia continues to grow fast, with mobile gaming adoption increasing exponentially.
Customers expect two things when it comes to money and online gaming, gambling or poker: depositing the money in and getting it out easily, with the minimum amount of friction, but highest levels of security.
They need to feel secure. Otherwise, they won’t play.
They also need to know that when they win they can withdraw the money with the same ease they made an initial deposit or payment.
This is even more important on mobile devices, which unlike laptops are primarily leisure devices, making them ideal for online gaming. Smaller screens mean entering dozens of details (name, address, card number, security codes, etc.) would be a serious negative friction point for most customers. Gaming companies would lose money, the same way retailers and fast food platforms can.
Payments therefore need to be seamless, with multiple devices remembering the customer’s primary choice, without needing to be told twice. This also means integrating multiple secure payment methods: credit, debit, PayPal, Apple Pay, mobile wallets and other options, where applicable.
In 2012, the online gaming industry saw numerous casino players enter the market, including Harrah’s, Rank, MGM Mirage and the Las Vegas Sands. Many in the industry see this as a move to make extra revenue from those who wouldn’t normally go to casinos, whilst also preparing for the day when American legislation catches up to Europe.
“The online gambler is often a loner,” said Joseph M. Kelly, co-editor of the Gaming Law Review. “He is not the kind of person who would go to Las Vegas and play blackjack or craps.”
Consequently, online gaming is still a huge growth market. Mobile enables customers to enjoy more of a social element, hence the rapid increase in online and mobile bingo participation. Despite the complexity of the industry, customers expect choice and security, across numerous devices and platforms.
- High levels of authentication and security (comparable to banks);
- Strict compliance with legislation, across devices, platforms and national borders;
- A simple, secure and seamless mobile payments experience.
If you would like to discuss payment security and multi-channel gaming with an expert here at Secure Trading, please get in touch.
Deloitte: The future of the British remote betting and gaming industry
KPMG: Online Gaming A Gamble or a Sure Bet?