Trust Payments has a small but expanding team based in Atlanta, USA, focused on creating the best experience for gaming customers. Gambling Insider caught up with two key members of its team: Kevin Dodson, Head of Direct Sales, Gaming, and Rio Broadfoot, Gaming Vertical Director.
What presence does Trust Payments have in the US?
Trust Payments has been operating out of the US supporting our gaming merchants since 2008. The company saw an opportunity to help European and UK businesses become more global and take advantage of the golden opportunities offered by growth into the largest consumer market on the planet. The company has initially focused on supporting online gaming companies, offering payment and payment-related compliance services. Later, we have expanded into other emerging verticals such as CBD and cryptocurrencies.
We have been supporting several online casino, poker and sports betting companies to expand their offering into the US market for seven years now. We’re successful because we understand that all players need to get the VIP treatment they deserve when they sign up or at checkout. We focus on a smooth and trusted payment experience including instant deposits, withdrawals and subscriptions.
We target operators who turn over anything from $300k/month to upwards of millions of dollars per month. We can facilitate payments and compliance services in all US states where online gambling is legal, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Colorado and Nevada. We plan to apply for licences in other states as our merchants expand their solution.
What is the compliance challenge with gaming in the US and how is Trust Payments supporting businesses in this area?
The main pain point experienced by gaming operators expanding into the US is finding an easy, non-intrusive and inexpensive way to manage the KYC process, including checks for the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) and Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs).
As well as our payments technology, we offer a very competitively priced fully managed service to handle these customer compliance checks, taking the hassle out of it for our gaming clients. Often when we explain this offering to our customers, they are delighted. We have even had one gaming operator get on the phone to their current KYC provider, to cancel their existing arrangement in favour of signing up for our service there and then – that was an amazing and humbling moment.
How is Trust Payments tackling security for gaming customers?
It is logical that, due to all the new digital payments methods now widely used around the world, operators will need to have an even more vigilant focus on anti-fraud, anti-money laundering and compliance, to avoid chargebacks and operational costs. Chargebacks are of course an important and useful fraud protection mechanism. Unfortunately, operators do not have the same protections. Consumer chargebacks often end up being used as a tool to commit fraud, rather than recover from it. This fast move to digital requires stronger security, advanced authentication and better transaction decisioning across the entire industry.
Fortunately, there are ways to manage this. It is important to keep in mind that how you manage risk and fraud in your online gaming and digital entertainment business can affect your customer conversion rates by up to 50%. We believe there are two strong new frictionless emerging technologies which will help: anti-fraud software such as TRU Fraud Check, our AI-based software which detects fraud and cyber threats through continuous behavioral authentication, and 3D Secure.
What is your role and what experience do you bring to Trust Payments?
As Gaming Vertical Director, I manage the European Gaming Sales and Account Management divisions within the business. I have been in payments for the last 10 years, specialising in gaming for the last five.
What presence does Trust Payments have in Europe?
At Trust Payments our mission is to help gaming operators optimise their sales and customer experience through facilitating speedy and seamless payments, loyalty and data management. Trust Payments has a full unified payments offering, including a cloud-based payments platform and merchant acquiring. The entire holistic customer experience is a growing area for us and last year we acquired a mobile loyalty company to start us on our journey with this. We have 11 global offices, with main hubs in London and Malta.
We are regulated by the MFSA in Malta as a Payment Institution and by the FCA as an Authorised Payments Institution in the UK. Gaming is one of our key verticals and an area we specialise in. We work with EU incorporated gaming operators, helping them with pay-in and pay-out options. We can process payments via the major cards as well as offer a multitude of local payment methods, bank transfers, eWallets, cash and vouchers. When a player wins, we can process the pay-out in real-time, allowing for the best customer experience for players across Europe and worldwide.
What are the biggest payments-related challenges facing gaming companies today?
The refusal of many high street banks to process gaming payments presents continuous challenges for gaming operators who are seeking both merchant services and settlement bank accounts.
Even once they find a payment provider, it is not uncommon that the provider sees the risk as too high and suddenly stops accepting gaming business models. The operator would then need to deal with the inconvenience of terminated or suspended accounts.
As we all know too well, changing market trends, laws and regulations are a common challenge as the gaming industry is so highly regulated. Across Europe there are ever-changing regulations to stay on top of in each country. For instance, the Gambling Commission (GC) banned the use of credit cards for gambling for UK licence holders last year. However, to date they are the only gambling regulator to have mandated this.
Fraud and chargebacks will always be a challenge for gaming operators and gaming is often a target industry for fraudsters, which can in turn cause reputational damage and incur large costs for the operator. The industry also has strict anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) requirements.
Merchants need to work with payment platforms that make it easy to identify every player for potential risk. Multiple form factors for mobile payments, and catering for web and mobile markets, is another common challenge as the offerings can differ vastly between payment providers.
How does Trust Payments help firms overcome these challenges?
Trust Payments is an acquirer with 15 years’ experience in the gaming industry. The gaming team consists of experienced professionals who monitor gambling regulation, and can provide advice and assistance to merchants about each jurisdiction they wish to expand in. We block jurisdictions or card types where gambling is illegal or unregulated so the merchant doesn’t have to.
Trust Payments offers advanced fraud prevention tools to monitor consumer behaviour and prevent fraudulent activity. We have internal Risk, Fraud and Chargebacks teams to manage our individual clients, identify current risks and patterns, and provide comprehensive support to our merchants in managing their fraud and chargebacks ratios. We also support 3D Secure version 2.2 to provide the latest Secure Customer Authentication (SCA) for further protection against fraud and chargebacks.
We offer relationships and integrations with a range of relevant service providers and platforms such as Visa Verifi, Mastercard Ethoca and Chargebacks911, to identify and eliminate chargebacks earlier and at source, as well as Financial and Electronic Money Institutions who can provide banking services and accounts for gaming operators. Trust Payments offers multiple integrations for both web and app processing, using SDKs to support a diverse range of payment factors such as Apple and Google Pay; as well as local payment methods with a single integration.
How can payments companies help the transition to cashless gaming?
In the online world, cashless gaming has been around for years and is easily offered by seamless integration methods, through hosted systems and APIs, Mobile SDKs for native apps, pay-in and pay-out functionality, bank transfer, eWallet and voucher local payment methods and one click deposits. For land-based casinos, on track racecourses and high street bookmakers, especially in the wake ofCovid-19, there has been an increased demand and focus on options for cashless gambling, especially considering paying for just about anything else in life can be done electronically.
Payments companies are focusing on new innovative technology to assist the transition to cashless gaming, such as prepaid and loyalty cards and wallet top up systems, all accessible from a mobile device; which would not only pay for the bets themselves but also any hospitality provided within the casino or event.