SBC Summit Barcelona: Altering perspectives on frictionless payments

“Friction isn’t necessarily a bad thing”, said Rahul Das, Director of Payments at Livescore, as he addressed both the audience and his fellow panellists at the Payment Leaders panel during the second day of SBC Summit Barcelona

Das was part of a discussion that explored what can operators borrow from the ecommerce journey to make the player experience more engaging as gaming expands further into the general market. 

As moderator Andrea McGeachin, CEO of Neosurf, headed the panel, what became evident from it is that strict regulations have put an emphasis on friction – something that players might not be too happy about. 

However, Das noted that whether friction is welcomed or not depends very much on the market, as player expectations tend to vary a lot. He gave an example with the Netherlands where Livescore was introduced a year and a half ago by first launching without the local payment method IDEAL as it was expected that this would bring friction due to the use of bank details. 

“Guess what,” Das said, “they liked the friction in the Netherlands! Depending on the market, it’s a case to figure out what is the customer expecting, if they expect friction you give them that. It’s about trust. Friction isn’t necessarily a bad thing.”

And while not necessarily a bad thing, strict regulatory frameworks often turn friction into a necessity in gaming, according to Mickael Marceau, Director of Payment Solutions at Kindred Group

“When you look at verification and payment processing, I think we were forced to be the best by a strict regulatory framework,” he said. 

However, even with the most restrictive measures in place, there is always a way to soften friction for the player, with Marceau giving Kindred’s work on this as an example: “Players don’t like friction so how can we address it? One example is we offer retail payments in the gaming industry as well. 

“We develop a product where you just scan a code on a gaming machine and it’s like a checkout. You need to be looking at the player, they don’t have patience for friction.”

Other panellists included Isabelle Delisle from Pinnacle, Simon Dorsen from OKTO, as well as Sean Mackay – CEO of CoinPayments, who also shared their thoughts with the audience.