Ben Keirle, CEO at 1account discusses how operators can re-verify players following the recent credit card ban in the UK, while ensuring they continue to meet the highest possible KYC standards. 

Back in April, the UK Gambling Commission’s ban on credit card payments came into force, bringing an end to the payment method’s somewhat chequered history with the industry. 

Since 2019, the regulator has been moving operators away from credit card payments, preventing them from using credit cards to identify and verify players and then ultimately banning them.

The credit card ban forms part of wider safe gaming efforts from the UKGC, particularly when it comes to ensuring players gamble within their affordability threshold.  

While these efforts are undoubtedly welcomed by the wider industry, they are causing additional hurdles for operators to clear in what is already a hugely challenging time for the sector.

Not only are they now having to find new ways for players to deposit and withdraw, but since 2019 they have also had to re-verify players and implement new ID and KYC processes. 

Player verification and the current state of play:

Under the latest rules, operators are required to obtain a minimum of two pieces of data from two different sources to verify a player’s identity and age.

Data source one must provide the player’s name and date of birth, while the second source must provide the player’s name and address or name and date of birth.

Prior to 2019, a credit card could be used as one of these data sources, but since then operators have had to use alternative data sources.

Some of the data sources operators have turned to include passport or driving licences, electoral roll databases or debit card information.

Not only have they had to do this for new players, but the Gambling Commission has made clear it expects operators to re-verify players who were identified solely via credit card before 2019.

This retrospective requirement has led to fierce discussion among operators and KYC providers due to the tremendous challenges it presents.  

How to re-verify players:

We have been working with our partners to help them overcome these hurdles and to effectively re-verify players to the current standards set by the regulator.

The best way of achieving this is to make it as easy as possible for the player, and we have had great success by contacting them directly via their preferred communication channel.

When connecting with the player, it is important to explain why they are having to be re-verified and provide clear instructions regarding what they need to do.

For example, our platform allows operators to send players an email containing a unique link to their account where they can check and confirm their details. We can then verify their information against the huge range of data sources we have access to, and in the rare event we cannot, additional documents can be requested.

Of course, this can be achieved by sending the player a text message, contacting them via their player account or even by phone call, depending on how they like to be engaged.

Best practice player ID:

It is essential for operators to be able to onboard new players to the anti-money laundering and identity verification requirements set by the UK Gambling Commission.

In order to do this, operators need to be able to access the largest number of data sources as possible, and to do this they should work with a third-party provider.

Access to data sources in real-time is key, not just because instant verification provides the best player experience but because the regulator requires players to be identified before they can deposit or place bets.

The Gambling Commission has undoubtedly set the bar high for operators when it comes to verification, KYC and AML, but these standards are vital if players are to be properly protected.

They may have caused additional headaches for operators, but by taking the right approach and working with expert partners, they can be easily remedied.

Then, moving forwards, operators can onboard players safe in the knowledge they are being accurately verified and protected.