5 Star Media had a virtual chat with Samoil Dolejan, Chief Executive Officer of MoneyMatrix, EveryMatrix’s payment processing platform. Dolejan has been recently appointed at the helm of the business unit after being with the company for the past four years, serving in several C-level roles in the Group.
We set on to discover how the right payments software can boost acquisition and retention, significantly improve the players’ experience, and mitigate risks.
What are the unique payment needs for online gambling, or iGaming companies?
Although to some extent there are similarities between industries, when it comes to payments, I would say iGaming is a very specific and unique space. It’s a high-risk and fast-moving industry, with complex compliance requirements and a demanding group of end-users.
Gambling companies must handle a lot of technological and compliance related challenges regarding the payments process. Operators need to localise their payment methods for each market they operate in while meeting the needs and expectations of both regulators and their own players. That means translating complex processes related to onboarding, KYC, deposits and withdrawals into simple, seamless processes for the users.
By being a part of EveryMatrix, one of the established B2B providers in the iGaming space, we took advantage of the knowledge we already had to shape the MoneyMatrix platform. By designing the solution to work flawlessly and in synergy with player platform, casino, sports and affiliate products, we’ve ultimately created a very competitive payment processing gateway for iGaming operators.
Our goal was to simplify the way iGaming companies handle the payment processing part of the business, while ensuring they meet all the compliance requirements from the regulatory landscape and player expectations when it comes to the gaming experience.
How do online gambling operators handle player accounts and payments?
Before making a deposit, players have to register and create their account. Even though the registration and depositing flows are separate, we noticed a strong tendency to link them, and handle the registration and KYC on the very first deposit. The rise of Open Banking will further push the interlinking of player accounts and their payments transactions, and this will have a direct impact on player acquisition.
Having the right player segmentation and being able to feed it into the payment processing flow, as MoneyMatrix does, allows operators to improve the processing further and automate different scenarios for VIPs, suspected fraudulent players and other situations. Processing payments faster and safer increases player trust and helps build retention.
The innovation that brings about a faster/automated KYC and onboarding processes, automation on the processing and fraud side, the ability to reduce steps and friction, yet remain compliant, are decisive factors which bring players your way and convince them to register on your website. In the end, the operators’ goal is to streamline processes, reduce costs, and eliminate any player frustrations so that their website is the place where people want to be.
How big a problem is money laundering in the iGaming space? What fraud prevention efforts should operators undertake?
Money laundering, fraud and responsible gambling violations are the biggest risks in the iGaming space, especially with operators that delay or superficially implement the regulatory requirements. We have seen that a tick-box approach to compliance will be way more costly in the long run. Therefore, both operators, platform providers and payment processors need to work together to ensure a safe gambling environment and to mitigate the inherent risks associated with online gambling. Automation is a key element, particularly for AML and Anti-fraud processes. From an operational standpoint, various factors need to be considered.
On the one hand, there are internal factors: transactions volume, human-based resources (staffing) vis-a-vis the percentage of potentially suspicious transactions to be analysed. The analysis and research of suspicious transactions tends to be tedious, time consuming as well as sensitive. Asking for additional information and documentation in a confidential and prudent manner tends to be a great challenge when suspicions are somewhat higher than average – especially when dealing with high-rollers. Multiplied by the massive volume of transactions and having to decide fast on various, disparate and unclear scenarios, it becomes crucial that the right tools are used for an informed and fast decision-making process.
On the other hand, we have the external factors, also affecting the operational side of the business. This relates to the ever-increasing and unprecedented scrutiny from regulators and other governing bodies on effective implementation of the Laws and Regulations. Operators failing to implement the right tools and governance arrangements are now being faced with warnings, fines and even license revocations with names being publicly available.
There are various solutions to these challenges. We need an increased adoption of paperless due diligence documentation and integrated digital identity solutions. The Scandinavian countries had a positive head start on the latter, compared to the rest of Europe and, in time, more countries will start to adopt similar solutions.
From an underwriting and ongoing monitoring perspective, we just need the right tools. Automating the risk scoring through fuzzy logic and AI applications that factor various data streams will also improve the accuracy of algorithms and will increase the detection of more qualitative suspicious activity – thus reducing the time analyzing of superfluous false positives.
What risks do payments-related concerns pose for iGaming operators? What extra protections does MoneyMatrix provide?
Going back to what I mentioned before, the biggest risks are related to money laundering, and other forms of financial crimes, such as fraud, particularly the ‘’friendly fraud’’ type. Online gambling operators need the right tools and comprehensive solutions given the high volumes of transactions they handle – often from players, having their own distinct profiles, in various jurisdictions, all with different laws and regulations covering each country. And unlike regular eCommerce businesses, the iGaming industry operates in a two-pronged transaction environment (with funds continuously being deposited and being paid out), essentially amplifying the risk exposure.
Then, there is always the risk of being left behind by the competition. So, you also need to consider the user experience and make it a smooth one despite the complex regulations. It is an act of permanently balancing what your players expect with what the authorities require. And MoneyMatrix has the goal of creating this perfect equilibrium for both operators and end-users. We work with a lot of providers to ensure that operators can mitigate risks while providing fast and seamless processing.
Our risk management policies are based on a wealth of technologies, and they can be adapted to the specific needs of various merchants and different jurisdictions. To give you some hints, our scanning scrutiny is based on three main aspects: onboarding or first transaction attempt, real-time interaction during individual lifetime and post-processing.
Each of these stages combines different technologies to draw the transactional profile. From risk score decision based on historical data to different KYC solutions intersected with device identification, our platform offers a smooth user journey with limited impact over the payment process. The operational overhead is significantly reduced considering the focus will always be only on the highlighted transactions and not on the entire processing volume. It all sounds very complicated but is actually easy to set up in our software because it is very user friendly and visual. This is just one of the ways we stay true to our credo of “Making Payments Simple”
The original version of this interview has been published by 5 Star Media on August 11, 2020, under the title Payments in iGaming: How Can Processing Make or Break Operators.