Christoffer Ødegården: Alternative payment methods are rising in the UK gambling sector

Christoffer Odegarden
Image: Bojoko

The UK gambling landscape has been evolving, with the industry’s credit card ban in 2022 and the fall out from the government’s white paper. With all the turmoil over the last few years, one key question is what payment methods are Brits looking toward today? What trusted, traditional payment methods stand strong, and what new solutions are on the rise?

To shed light on this topic, Payment Expert chatted to Christoffer Ødegården, Head of Casino at Bojoko, a UK igaming comparison site. With his expertise in the field, Ødegården is well-positioned to discuss the growing popularity of alternative payment methods in the UK casino market and the current payment trends in general.

Payment Expert: Can you provide some insight into why alternative payment methods are gaining traction among UK casino players?

Christoffer Ødegården: One of the primary reasons is convenience. Players are constantly seeking faster, more seamless ways to deposit and withdraw funds from their casino accounts. Alternative methods like ApplePay and e-wallets offer instant transactions, eliminating the need to enter lengthy card details or banking information. 

Additionally, these methods often come with a sense of enhanced security, providing peace of mind to users.

PE: Speaking of ApplePay, it’s been increasingly adopted by consumers in various sectors. How does its popularity among users compare to its adoption in the online casino industry?

CØ: ApplePay has indeed gained significant popularity among consumers thanks to its ease of use and integration with Apple devices. However, its adoption in the online casino industry has been relatively slow. While players appreciate the convenience of ApplePay, it took a long time before more than a handful of casinos integrated it as a payment option. 

However, this has changed drastically. I am happy to report that Bojoko’s Apple Pay casinos page now lists well over 50 different brands. As more brands integrate Apple Pay, we add them to our overview and hope to cross a hundred this year. We have actively alerted casinos of this payment method in terms of its popularity, and I like to think we were part of its increased popularity.

PE: What about other alternative payment methods, such as e-wallets and pay-by-phone options? Are these gaining traction in the UK market?

CØ: Yes, we have seen a rise in both, especially after the ban on credit cards. Both e-wallets and pay-by-phone solutions allow players to make deposits without sharing their banking information directly, which often feels like added security. 

In terms of e-wallets, Skrill and Neteller have been popular for some time, but other alternatives, like Neosurf, have grown in popularity. In terms of pay-by-phone options, the clear leader is Boku, but others, like Siru, are also notable. With both options, players can simply make deposits using their mobile phone number, with charges appearing on their phone bill or deducted from their prepaid balance. This offers a convenient and accessible way to fund casino accounts, particularly for those who don’t have access to traditional banking methods.

PE: What do you think the future holds for alternative payment methods in the UK casino industry?

CØ: I believe alternative payment methods will continue to play a significant role in the evolution of the UK casino industry. As players demand more convenience, security, and flexibility in their transactions, online casinos will need to adapt by offering a diverse range of payment options. 

We will undoubtedly see further integration of popular methods like ApplePay, Neosurf, Boku, and more, as well as the emergence of new innovative solutions tailored to players’ needs. Ultimately, the key will be to provide a seamless and user-friendly payment experience that enhances players’ overall gaming experience.

PE: What traditional payment methods still remain popular among UK casino players?

CØ: Traditional payment methods, such as debit cards, bank transfers, and older and more established e-wallets, like PayPal, continue to be widely used among UK casino players. 

Visa, in particular, offers familiarity and widespread acceptance, making it convenient for many players. Essentially, everyone has a Visa card, which makes payment instantly accessible. Bank transfers are obviously not as instantaneous as some alternative methods, but they are preferred by a number of players who prioritise security and reliability. 

Then you have e-wallets like PayPal, Neteller, and Skrill, which have been around for a long time and gained widespread acceptance and the additional layer of security provided by their platforms. 

While alternative payment methods are gaining traction, traditional options still hold significant sway in the UK casino market.