What can you tell us about PayNearMe? How has the company evolved since it was founded?
Webb: PayNearMe started in the bill payment space, enabling people to pay bills in the retail space, at retail locations. It was in 2013 that we entered the iGaming sphere, the same year iGaming itself became regulated in three states in the US. At the time it felt like a natural extension. Then, the US market accelerated when sports betting started to become legal and US states started regulating it in 2018. It was then fitting that we took our cash offering and expanded again into electronic payments.
How can payment operators offset rising customer acquisition costs? How can an operator maximise the lifetime value of a player too?
Webb: Focusing on acquisitions, operators are currently spending a lot of money on media to acquire customers. Operators can spend upwards of $1,000 to acquire a customer or get them to download an operator’s mobile app. The crucial gap on the acquisition front is getting the player to go from downloading a sports betting mobile app to depositing money into an account – for a person to be officially “acquired.” So this is the first point of focus for an operator; improving app conversion.
Secondly, concerning retention, operators need to focus on disbursements. Is the user having a positive experience? One way of thinking about acquisition and retention for an operator is to make sure you’re doing three things:
Provided choice to the player. This means tender types are available that the player trusts and is familiar with when making deposits.
What’s the user experience (UI) like?
Is it streamlined and intuitive, does it make sense? Is it pixel perfect? Because every click is a chance for a player to drop off of your site.
Trust and privacy. What am I willing to share as part of the experience when I make a deposit? For example, online banking is a very popular tender type, but some players don’t want to share their usernames and password to complete a deposit. What are players comfortable with from a trust and privacy perspective? Operators need to have other tender types to drive that user and the comfortability users have.
All in all, both acquisition and retention go together for the operator. And in the US, which is still a young market, early adopters of different tender types and payment options are more willing to go through additional hurdles and complexities in that payment flow. As the market grows, expanding out to the casual player, one could argue that those players are less forgiving. They’re not going to be as tolerant of a poor UI, or not having a popular tender type available to them. Operators must understand that; which they do. What’s more important is how they address it: how they come up with a payment solution that best mirrors the payments market, as it continues to grow out towards the casual player.
What does the US iGaming experience look like today? What are players looking for in this newly regulated market?
Webb: US gaming is about having a positive experience. Approximately half of the frequent players say that a positive payment experience is the single most important element in making bets online. So, it’s a huge number, and that experience is extremely important to the player. But half of them face an issue! Half of the frequent players face a problem when they’re trying to sign up and complete a payment transaction.
How important is it to integrate payments seamlessly?
Hay: Single integration helps with the seamlessness of an operator’s site. It ensures the site is seen as one product. A good payment provider lives and breathes the consumer flow of making a payment. The operator shouldn’t have to worry about their payment solution at all, and instead be far more focused on their content solutions etc. The UI project of finding the easiest way to guide a player to make a deposit or withdrawal should be up to folks like us, who live and breathe payments every day.