Paysafe Launches Revamped Skrill Digital Wallet For Online Betting
When talking about customer retention in a highly competitive iGaming market like Ontario, with 47 licensed operators, the seamlessness and security of betting transactions for players is central.
Paysafe, the payments platform, announced a few weeks back the launch of their revamped Skrill digital wallet for online betting in Ontario.
The registration process links Ontarians’ bank accounts to the wallet. Players use Skrill to deposit instantly into sportsbook accounts via online transfer. Bettors can also load funds to their Skrill wallet balance. Winnings can either be spent online using Skrill at supporting merchants or transferred to players’ linked bank accounts.
Gambling.com spoke with Greg Kirstein, Montreal-based general manager of North America iGaming at Paysafe.
Gambling.com: What kind of role do payments play in iGaming product offerings?
Kirstein: Payments play an essential role in iGaming brands’ product offerings – ultimately, there can be no play without pay. A player is only truly converted into the customer of an online sportsbook when they make their first deposit, and to maximize conversions operators need to ensure that the depositing process is frictionless.
To support frictionless deposits, a sportsbook’s cashier needs to include all players’ preferred payment methods. And their preferences have never been more diverse, now spanning alternative payment methods (APMs) like digital wallets and even eCash, plus local payment solutions such as Interac e-Transfer as well as credit and debit card payments. Beyond payments choice, individual payment methods need to enable deposits that combine speed and security.
Payouts are just as important in iGaming product offerings. In a sense, online sports betting can be considered as entertainment with a financial incentive, so it’s crucial that sportsbooks allow their customers to cash-out their winnings quickly and easily. Getting payouts right should not be underestimated by operators, as our recent research revealed that globally players tend to prioritize cashing-out seamlessly above all other factors when selecting a sportsbook.
How important has it been in customer acquisition and retention in the Ontario market over the first year?
Frictionless payments, and payouts in particular, are critically important to online sportsbooks’ customer acquisition, and the Ontario market is no exception. Our Q4 2022 global iGaming payments research revealed that, with the single exception of brand trust, cashing-out quickly and easily was the most important criterion for Ontarians when choosing a sportsbook, trumping odds, sports markets, bonuses and promotions, among other factors.
Payments are also already proving vital for Ontario online sportsbooks retention strategies. Around three quarters (73%) of players in the province say that the payments experience is an important factor in why they continue wagering with a specific sportsbook, according to our recent research.
Have there been improvements in how major banks look at iGaming transactions in Ontario over Year One?
When the expanded Ontario market for private operators launched last April, the situation for iGaming transactions and card approvals from Canadian card issuers was already much better and less complex than what we saw a few years ago when the U.S. market re-emerged, with the country’s 4,000+ banks.
From day-one, Canada’s Big Five banks have largely embraced the regulated Ontario iGaming market, and we’re today seeing approval rates for credit and debit card deposits exceed 90%. We expect card approvals to improve still further as the market matures in its second full year.
What are some of the ways the new Skrill digital wallet makes the payment process more seamless?
In essence, the upgraded Skrill wallet streamlines and speeds-up the process for first-time deposits and re-deposits. When they register with Skrill for the first time, Ontario players link their bank account to their wallet account. Once linked, they can then use Skrill to instantly fund a wager with an Ontario sportsbook.
The whole process from registering with Skrill to instant funding takes seconds, but it’s even faster for returning players. They can skip log-in by activating "remember me" to pay with a single tap or click.
Skrill’s user experience (UX) has also been streamlined through a new tiled display. This centralizes all the info Ontario players need to transact, reduces the screens they have to click through to fund a deposit or action a pay-out, and makes the whole transactional process more intuitive.
Do you still find challenges with trustworthiness among end users in Ontario, or has that been smoothed out, compared to when the Ontario market launched?
Ontarians’ trust in the security of their transactions is already improving, with half of players (49%) telling us in Q4 2022 that they were more confident depositing than they were before the market launched in April. The flip side of this is there is obviously work still to be done by operators and payment providers, with 10% of Ontarians less confident in transactional security and the remainder (41%) on the fence.
That said, it should be emphasized that Ontario is still a young iGaming market. Across the mature as well as newer U.S. state markets we surveyed, two thirds (65%) of players were more confident in transactional security than the year before. We can expect similar growth in confidence in the Ontario market as it matures and players become more familiar with the mechanics of depositing and cashing-out as well as different payment methods.
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