When a customer or ‘punter’, is looking for an online betting site, there are a wide range of factors that come into play in making a decision to use one site over another. Some of which only become obvious when beginning the registration process.
What kind of betting do I want to perform? What special offers do I get? What kind of odds are available? All these questions lead to the vendor of preference, but once the registration begins it becomes clear that far more is involved. Namely; how easy is it for me to register, deposit and withdraw funds?
It is ease of use that often proves the biggest challenge for online betting companies. New markets are just a matter of the bookmaker’s risk appetite, as are the odds on offer. Special offers and new game choices are just a matter of marketing.
Turning what can be a time consuming and frustrating process highly susceptible to abandonment into a swift, secure and regulatory compliant process is, arguably, the ultimate goal of the gaming industry.
If a punter has won a bet they are going to want to access that money quickly. Yet even a cursory glance around leading online gaming sites shows waits of up to five working days to transfer to bank accounts and even up to a day to transfer to an e-wallet.
But why is this?
To be fair to gaming companies, they can very often be at the mercy of banks. Transfers to and from accounts are notoriously slow, even in this age of instant information exchange and fast payments. Yet even e-wallet exchanges take longer than they should.
The fundamental cause of this is that online betting transactions are very closely regulated, and with good reason. As we discussed in last week’s blog, the fight against organised crime and terrorism means that online betting firms have to make sure that the people who are depositing and withdrawing funds are who they say they are. Anti-Money Laundering (AML) legislation is strictly enforced by almost every Government globally.
This can often mean manual checks to ensure full compliance. The less automated the checks are, the longer the process will take, the more frustrated the customer is. Manual checks also take valuable staff time making them costly to provide and open to varying degrees of human error..
What, then, is the way forward? The answer has to be secure and automated Identity Management effected through advanced authentication. This will vastly increase the speed and accuracy of the KYC process while still maintaining full regulatory compliance. After all, if online betting companies are offering instant odds and instant games, surely they should be able to offer as close to instant pay-outs as possible.
The company that sets new benchmarks in top-up and withdrawal time and ease of use will be the company that dominates the market. Allowing the customer to verify their identity easily and securely will be a significant competitive advantage in this bitterly contested market.