Former Spotify exec joins leading bookmaker as payments chief

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Flutter Entertainment, one of the world’s biggest international betting operators, has hired Mark Shaw as its Director of Global Payments Strategy.

Shaw is a veteran of the payments, finance and technology sectors. His career in these spaces has seen tenures with the likes of Visa, Barclays, TSB and Spotify, the latter his most recent employer.

Announcing his new role on LinkedIn, Shaw revealed that he has been leading Flutter’s payments operations for one month, although also noting that making his debut in the betting industry is a ‘big change from Spotify in so many ways’.

His statement read: “After leaving Spotify earlier in the year, I’m pleased to say I’ve started up (and am now one month into) a new role as Director of Global Payments Strategy for Flutter Entertainment Plc, the world’s largest online sports betting and igaming operator

“As a Group, Flutter operates some of the world’s most innovative, diverse and distinctive sports betting and gaming brands as part of a globally federated business model – from FanDuel and Paddy Power to Sportsbet, Betfair, PokerStars, Sisal and more, the scale, growth and diversity of the business is incredible.

“I’m delighted to be working with the awesome local payment teams to build out the future for payments across the group and look forward to enhancing the growth and efficiency of the business

“It’s a big change from Spotify in so many ways, but new challenges and learning are the only constants in life, so it’s time to get stuck in and help ‘Change The Game’.”

Shaw’s career in the upper echelons of payments and finance began in 2003 at Barclays. He left the UK high-street bank in 2006, moving on to Visa as a Senior Manager of Group Strategy in 2007.

His tenure at Visa ended in 2011, by which time he had risen to the role of Vice President – Mobile Payments Strategy. After a stint at Vocalink as a Strategy Lead he returned to banking at TSB in 2018 as Head of Strategy and Design – Payments, before becoming Director of Payments Strategy at Spotify in October 2019.

The addition of Shaw’s extensive payments expertise and experience at Flutter Entertainment – which as Shaw noted in his LinkedIn post is one of the world’s biggest online gaming groups with an extensive presence across various markets – showcases the importance of payments to the online betting experience.

Various payments technologies are becoming of increasing interest to betting groups. Open Banking and digital wallets, for example, have more and more relevance to online betting payments, whilst the potential of AI for KYC, AML and fraud-prevention processes is also gaining attention.

Lastly, cryptocurrency and blockchain are also of interest to many operators. This is an area Shaw has also gained experience in as he has been a part time member of the Bank of England’s CBDC Technology Forum, playing a role in the UK central bank’s development of a ‘digital pound’.