Christian Reinheimer, LeoVegas: Realising payments’ competitive edge in igaming

Christian Reinheimer, LeoVegas: Realising payments’ competitive edge in igaming

The igaming industry is paying more and more attention to the importance of payments and the competitive advantage this can bring, LeoVegas’ Director of Payments, Christian Reinheimer explained to CasinoBeats.

However, there is always room for improvement, he added. The igaming sector, as well as the betting space by extension, is a highly competitive place. For brands like LeoVegas, this means going up against the likes of Flutter, Entain and bet365, among others, and payments can often provide an edge in the customer experience.

In a Q&A with the SBC Media casino and igaming news platform, Reinheimer emphasised that payments in gaming are a continuously evolving aspect of the business, with innovation often driven by a range of factors.

This can include regulation – such as how customers deposit funds and access winnings – whilst others evolve outside of igaming but are quickly adopted by it, such as Open Banking, which Reinheimer noted is being increasingly adopted in Europe.

He continued: “I believe that the space will keep seeing evolutions, especially in requirements from regulators on ownership verification of the payment instruments used by players, as well as additional requirements for closed loop payouts. 

“From outside the industry we can benefit from digital payments being a very dynamic space with fast paced innovation. Not all of it will always add value though, it’s about identifying the trends that are best suitable for our business model and our players’ needs.”

Much has often been made about what igaming can learn from other sectors, particularly finance. Looking at the British example, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) repeated this throughout the duration of the country’s Gambling Act review.

The UKGC repeatedly stated that betting could learn from finance in particular. Whilst for the Commission this was mainly around areas such as data sharing, Reinheimer believes lessons can be onboarded regarding payments.

“I personally believe that the online casino industry needs to invest more effort into making the unique challenges of the industry seen within the financial sector,” he continued. “Financial regulators and infrastructure providers can do more for us to create a safe, yet effective industry. 

“Our players value instant money flow and frictionless user experience, but we are subject to AML regulations, suffer from fraud and are invested in responsible gaming, which can all make the experience cumbersome for our customers unless we improve the tools at our disposal, which in a lot of instances are designed by financial regulators and institutions.

“Player identity and payment instrument ownership verification need to become more streamlined, as do affordability checks. The underlying infrastructure to move funds needs to become fully instant. Those improvements will add a lot to a healthy industry with satisfied players.”

Payments can provide the edge for operators when it comes to standing out from the competition, by providing a seamless means for customers to deposit and withdraw from their accounts.

Operators have a range of options to choose from, such as offering a ‘lean journey’ or multiple payment choices for a diversified selection. Regardless, payments are an important part of the competitive edge for operators to grasp.

He explained: “While the trend is clear I do believe the igaming industry can lean in even more and learn how to utilise payments as a competitive advantage, see the area as an opportunity for innovation and a more profitable and safe business. There is always room for improvement.”