Want to bet on when we will have a COVID-19 vaccine? Well, many people are – and betting on much more besides – as lockdown ushers in a new era of iGaming. And it could be big news for DCB.
With more people than ever stuck in doors – not just in rainy old Britain, but worldwide – online and mobile gambling is booming.
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With consumers looking for something to fill the hours indoors, many have turned to online gambling and mobile gambling to alleviate the boredom.
Playing simple casino games is the obvious face of mobile gambling in lockdown, however, there is more to it than that.
Sports betting is already starting to gain traction as the rise of eSports sees more sporting content appear online filling the gap left by live sports. This combination of esports content and the lack of live sporting events has been no impediment to its up-take, with bookmakers taking odds on everything you can think of from Coronavirus lockdown outcomes to bets on esports game play.
Meanwhile, many games feature ‘loot boxes’ that people pay to play with in-game and these too are adding a new dimension to how people gamble.
Lotteries, too, are gaining a lot of attention, with many people playing in the hope that they will win big and be able to, one day, move into a big house – perhaps ready to sit out the next pandemic in relative luxury.
All in all, gambling services have boomed, like all content, over the lockdown. Which has come as good news for the sector. Pre-pandemic, data gathered and calculated by GoldenCasinoNews.com indicated that the UK gambling and betting revenues will drop by 17% in 2024. The data projects that the revenue will keep declining in the coming years to record $70.5 billion in four years.
This has all but been reversed – for now at least – thanks to the changing consumer habits in the pandemic.
However, there is another problem with the boom in new players wanting to gamble: how do they pay for their play?
Pay to play
With many gambling opportunities being spur-of-moment, the need for quick and easy ways to pay, add credit and even to get paid is now more important than ever.
According to research into the payment habits of different generations of players in the online gaming and betting space by PXP Financial, the global expert in acquiring and payment processing services, when it comes to online gambling, Millennials (born 1981 – 1995) are the biggest spenders and prefer to use debit payments. In contrast, Generation X (1965 – 1980) prefers to play with credit instead.
January’s announcement of a credit card ban across the industry produced interesting results. Unsurprisingly, Generation X had an incredibly negative response. However, perhaps more surprisingly, each of the generations had a majority negative view on the regulation, leading to more than 50% of the respondents citing it to be harmful to the sector.
With regards to Generation Z, they have yet to have a significant impact on the online payments industry, primarily due to their age and financial capability. However, this is set to change as the group matures.
And as for the perception of retail, Millennial’s were found to lean more positively towards physical shopping, although it was nearly an even split. Generation X, on the other hand, vastly preferred the convenience of shopping online.
Interestingly, the survey found that the majority of respondents preferred shopping instore to online and preferred to spend using digital currencies instead of cash. It aimed to provide another look into this generation and the spending habits of other generations in the retail sector.
The DCB alternative
So, what do they want instead? One obvious choice has to be direct carrier billing (DCB). While some in the mobile gambling space use it, it is far from ubiquitous – and that is a mistake. Some 40% of people who would deposit money with gambling operators if it was easy to do so would. That means that if you were running a football team, 5 of your first team 11 wouldn’t be playing.
As the latest white paper from the Telemedia Mythbusters series shows, this has become a crucial thing for gambling operators – and everyone else in ecommerce, for that matter – with choice of payments types being a decisive factor in consumers choosing to pay/play with you.
A study by PPRO reveals that 44% of UK consumers say that they would stop a purchase if their favourite payment method wasn’t available.
When asked in a survey by PPRO about speed and convenience, 51% of Generation Z respondents agreed that they would avoid using retailers that require entering payment credentials every time.
The need to offer the kinds of payment methods that consumers want to use is crucial to mobile gambling, gaming and all content services. With more people turning to their devices for entertainment the global telemedia industry is at a turning point: get it right and the shift to online and mobile as a paid for entertainment channel will stick. Get it wrong – or make it hard to pay – and the opportunity may slip through people’s fingers.
Carrier billing is one of the easiest and most secure ways to pay for a short, sharp hit on any mobile content or gaming site. If we can use the time we have now, during lockdown, to familiarise users with its ease and simplicity (as well as getting round its tarnished image of old) then it too can be a key way to pay to play for gamblers and everyone else.
Unlike other mobile payment mechanisms, DCB is essentially a revenue-share-based payment tool, with the merchant – in this case gambling operators – payment providers and mobile network operators sharing the money taken from each transaction.
This fee, worked out on a case-by-case basis, is usually slightly higher per transaction than found with credit and debit card processing, however, it isn’t as expensive as it seems.
The ease-of-use for consumers coupled with its immense reach – basically tapping into anyone who has a mobile phone number anywhere in the world – makes it a truly compelling payment tool.
While the fees for using it are slightly higher, the increase in transactions that it can bring about heavily outweighs the costs.
In fact, it is becoming increasingly popular across Europe for all ecommerce transactions and a study by Juniper Research14 also found that DCB scores convert 70% for first transactions, compared with credit cards struggling at 10 to 12%.
As a result, of its growing popularity, the costs are also starting to come down too.
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