14 June, 2022

Payments: The operator’s point of view

Danica Galea, Betsson Group’s Head of Payments Operations, discusses how payments processes vary across regions, particularly Europe and Latin America, and how much this affects the player experience

What kind of duties does your role entail for Betsson, on the operator side of payments?

As the Head of Payments Operations at Betsson Group, my role is all about overseeing the running of multinational payment operations. I ensure that customers are receiving the best service, while running cost-effective, sustainable, compliant and efficient operations. Therefore, in a nutshell the role is to lead the team that ensures customers are getting their deposits and withdrawals paid in a timely manner, and that includes the setting up, quality assurance and optimisation of payment processes; as well as managing the team and liaising with stakeholders across the company.

Just how directly does the payments process and experience affect players? Is there truly as much of an impact as payments companies tend to claim?

How we, as an operator, conduct payments will determine the extent of impact on the customers. Transaction processing is all about an intricate network of systems feeding and synchronising data between different entities (financial institutions, operators, acquirers, payment service providers etc). Even the slightest of flaws or instability will throw traffic and the customers’ experience into disarray. For the most part, it will be factors that are beyond our control, but nonetheless they directly impact our own customer base.  Stability, simple UX, integration capabilities, contingencies, but most of all speed are just some of the critical factors needed to maximise your payments products. Different payment providers offer different setups that we need to ensure are a right fit for us, our customer base and support the service level we aim to provide. This is a very important step as a wrong fit will impact our resources, costs, customer satisfaction, workload and mitigation; as our efforts will be diverted to make up for any deficiencies.

How do payments processes, and the different uses of payments methods, vary across regions?

They vary based not just on regions, but customer habits, trends and demographics. The world has already become a “mobile-first world” and we have seen a boom in mobile apps, and digital banking, which has created a shift in how people transact. The pandemic brought about an acceleration into these trends and some of them are now more mainstream solutions. The Nordic region consumers have been on the mobile payment apps solutions game for quite some time, and this still remains their most preferred and popular method. However, when we look at other regions, like Italy for example, customers there still stick to more traditional methods such as cards, e-wallets and bank transfers. This is an ever-evolving situation and as with everything, habits and trends will continue to change with further developments within the regions on faster, easier and more customer-friendly solutions.

What is the payments process for gambling like specifically in the LatAm region?

In general, LatAm is still a very cash-based society, therefore the solutions are limited and very specific to the region, with traditional payment methods being the most popular. However, the pandemic has accelerated a need and dependency on digital solutions all over the world, pushing cash-based regions like LatAm into developing digital solutions to help their consumers, which in turn will allow us to offer better and faster solutions to our customers.

Given the growing importance of payments within gaming, do you anticipate Betsson will work with more and more payments partners in the coming years?

Most certainly, with growth, expansion, ever-changing technologies and consumer habits comes the need to continue to broaden our portfolio of payment options. Only then can we ensure we stay ahead of the game, and provide customers the variety of options required to best suit their needs and preferences.