Having a streamlined payments process is no easy task. Sports betting and casino operators can come up against a number of hurdles, which can ultimately impact the player experience. Remedying these pain points is where Signature Payments comes in.

Signature Payments’ Joshua Cobian, VP of Direct Sales, and Lana Lagow, Channel Manager Gaming, discuss the TUNL Gateway, removing “the middle man” from the payments processes before giving a sneak peek into plans for 2023.

Payment Expert: First of all, can you give us a brief introduction to Signature Payments?

JC: Signature Payments has been around for 25 years. We have four different banks – four different partners that we work with – two of which are in the gaming space. So we’ve processed for every merchant that you can process for, from low-risk retail all the way to card not present international businesses.

From a gambling perspective, both of our banks have been extremely flexible and lenient with the opportunities that we’ve brought due to our risk and compliance team having a good understanding of the gaming space. They have allowed us to have some flexibility – more than most, I feel, because of how knowledgeable our team is. So it’s been great to work with both of them.  

We have an end-to-end payment system that provides an omnichannel payment platform to accept payments from all sales points, allowing us to support online iGaming businesses and land based casinos.  

Payment Expert: Signature Payments is unique in that it operates its own payment gateway. Could you give us your elevator pitch? How is this offering something new for the igaming industry? 

JC: From us controlling our banking relationships, risk and underwriting all in one part, all the way through to technology, we’re able to tailor a solution specific to merchants’ needs. We own the gateway technology – we’ve had it since 2017. We have the staff and the developers in-house, so ultimately it’s extremely beneficial because when a product is needed we’re able to build it, as long as it fits on our road map.

It also helps the merchant control some of the risk with some of the fraud tools that we have. Because we’re so industry-specific we’re able to get feedback from all of our tier-one merchants and operators and tailor the experience to what’s best for them and their industry-specific requirements. It’s not just a generic gateway.

Payment Expert: What are the benefits of an igaming or sportsbook platform provider integrating the TUNL payment gateway?

LL: We are very excited to introduce TUNL to the igaming industry. We have developed features that are specific to the gaming industry. It is very common for gaming operators to have multiple merchant accounts for cascading their payment transactions. With TUNL being agnostic and integrating with any processor, operators have the flexibility to keep their merchant account and do business with multiple payment processing companies and all payment transactions are managed through one payment gateway and one central merchant portal. Operators have the convenience of having one point of contact for customer service and technical support.

TUNL is designed for ease of integration. Developers are able to leverage our out-of-box platform or integrate via our APIs. Our integration solution includes an advanced feature-rich-set-up with sophisticated fraud prevention and management tools, while our in-house integration support team is available to assist with all integrations.  

With TUNL being integrated in the platform, their customers (operators) can simply turn on the payment methods that are available in the gateway, for example, credit/debit card processing or ACH payments. Also, as previously mentioned, if an operator using that gaming platform already has a merchant account with another provider, they can keep that account and the payment transactions can be processed through the TUNL gateway and one central merchant portal. 

The benefit to the platform provider of  having TUNL integrated is being able to offer their customer a turnkey solution that provides processing for multiple merchant accounts, lower fees, and a central point of contact for customer service and IT support.  

Payment Expert: With you owning your payment gateway and having a direct relationship with the bank that processes the payment transaction, what are the benefits to gaming operators compared to transacting via a third party provider?

LL: This removes the “middle man” from the process so, from a financial perspective, we are able to extend lower gateway fees and rates charged for payment processing. This is a huge financial gain for operators that have players initiating thousands of payment transactions monthly and for startups, helping them to reduce their go to market costs. 

With using a third party payment gateway provider, there is little to no flexibility in the gateway fees that are charged. From an operations perspective, as previously mentioned, operators can do business with multiple payment processing companies and all payment transactions are handled through one payment gateway and managed in one central merchant portal and have one point of contact . 

Payment Expert: What can we expect to see from Signature Payments in 2023? Are there any new developments / products in the pipeline? 

JC: Ultimately, we have set development timelines and all of our new products are on the roadmap for completion or are already completed. We have some fraud prevention tools that we are implementing into the gateway which will help eliminate – not in entirety – but reduce chargebacks as much as we can and take care of some of that friendly fraud. 

In addition to that we have ACH right around the corner and we’re working with a bank that takes gaming and allows ACH transactions via gaming. It was difficult, but we were able to source that.

LL: On gaming specific developments, they are currently in development and we expect those to be released by the end of this quarter. We have real time payments and a traveling digital wallet that we’re developing, two products that I believe will be very beneficial to us. 

Payment Expert: Finally, what do you believe are the key challenges facing payments companies in 2023? And how will Signature Payments approach, and overcome, these hurdles?

LL: Payments companies in 2023 have two major challenges when it comes to providing tools and resources to the merchant ecosystem. First, we must continue to advance payment processing opportunities in numerous industries that are often blocked by a wide-range of regulatory obstacles. And second, we have to stay ahead of potential fraud risks and malicious attacks by creating new tools and standards that are safer than ever before.

In regards to offering new solutions to high risk sectors, Signature Payments balances our dedication to regulatory compliance with an unyielding ambition to create new standards. With a focus on merchant needs, we navigate the complex online iGaming industry by building out top teams of talented individuals who push the envelope to shift ideas and restrictive philosophies. Furthermore, we constantly envision, create, and share transformative tools such as our Tunl payment gateway. This helps us understand the voice within the gaming industry while creating a sustainable environment for financial transactions.

When it comes to online security, we take the battle against fraud and risk personally. Our goal is to create safe payment environments that can be trusted by all. Using advanced fraud detection tools and real-time monitoring systems, we provide modern ways to prevent and detect malicious online activity.

Finally, our passion in the online gaming industry lies in understanding the end-user and delivering transactions through a seamless player experience. We offer diverse payment options tailored to players’ preferences worldwide. Our custom-made plugins and secure gateway ensure hassle-free transactions, allowing merchants and players to harmoniously balance their online experience through the new exciting features online iGaming offers