The relationship between the gaming industry and the payments sector continues to elevate in importance as regulations change and maximising user security and engagement remains increasingly pivotal. 

Chief Operating Officer at Hero Gaming Matthew Vassallo spoke to Payment Expert on how new introductions have ‘truly revolutionized’ user security, as well as what impact he believes PSD2 will have on the instant play experience.  

Payment Expert: How important is marrying a seamless experience with a heightened approach in terms of security?

Matthew Vassallo: Registration and KYC have typically been the two largest hurdles a customer will encounter throughout their experience with any European Casino operator at some stage. Great user experience around this touchpoint improves retention and the overall lifetime value of the customer.  

The introduction of BankID, IDIN and other bank-backed verification methods in gaming has truly revolutionized the way the customers register and verify themselves instantly and securely.   

Banking authentication and verification are valued heavily by the customer because there is an element of brand recognition, security and trust.   

To summarize, customers are getting more educated in the online space and thus expect to be met with trustworthy and recognized brands which make them feel comfortable registering on-site.

Payment Expert: For casinos, have regulatory changes impacted the potential of the instant play experience? 

Matthew Vassallo: The instant play experience itself has encountered new bumps along the road which brings me to the third-largest hurdle throughout the customer journey. The EU AML 4th Directive entered into force in June 2017 and its introduction required a new form of KYC known as enhanced due diligence as EU gambling operators became subject to said directive.

Enhanced due diligence requires the operators to understand a customer’s source of income which has been challenging to obtain as seamlessly as KYC. Some markets are more open with their data and have better online sources to mitigate or even remove this hurdle at times.     

My belief is that the advent of PSD2 (payment service directive), its full implementation and subsequent exposure to customers will be very valuable in improving the overall instant play flow, whereby the customer can choose to share source of income information seamlessly via their bank in a secure manner.

Payment Expert: How important is it that gaming operators place a focus on fintech when it comes to maximising engagement?

Matthew Vassallo: Having been in the industry for a number of years I’ve seen first-hand how payment products and their importance in the industry evolved, starting off as being nothing more than a service/cost department, to a crucial money-making and competitive area.  

Fintech is becoming more popular with operators and customers alike, as they start understanding it’s benefits. It allows customers to deposit anywhere and at any time with little more than their mobile phone. In addition, instant verification allows for faster withdrawals which leads to greater trust and a more seamless experience.

Payment Expert: Can you tell us a little bit more about the CasinoBeats Malta Digital event and what it means to be part of the event?

Matthew Vassallo: I am happy to be part of it! Over the years, conference/networking events such as these have allowed me to meet professionals with different backgrounds and ideas and keep up to date with the latest developments in the industry (there have been many over the past few years). CasinoBeats also offers a strong platform to learn more from other speakers and experts in the online casino space.

Vassallo will be speaking further on the future of instant play and the payments industry at the upcoming CasinoBeats Malta Digital event, which features a fully virtual three-day conference, including the much-anticipated payments track, as well as an unrivalled exhibition and networking experience.

To find out more about the event, click on the image below.