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EDITORIAL Carrier billing and mobile gambling – a match made in heaven?

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With more people than ever stuck in doors – not just in rainy old Britain, but worldwide – online and mobile gambling is booming.

The 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.

But how people pay for their gambling is more of a tricky issue. 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.

So, what do they want instead? One obvious choice has to be direct carrier billing. 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.

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.

To hammer home this message, we are producing a White Paper on Carrier Billing for Gambling operators. Look out for it towards the end of the month.

In the meantime why not sign up for Telemedia Newsletter for all the latest news and updates on Carrier Billing, Advertising Value Vhain and Mobile Payments. Totally free and published every Thursday.

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