“50% of gambling operators still losing revenue due to lack of payments performance”

Lack of business support and inadequate use of data hampering optimisation of payments within gambling; but research reveals growing pressure from business leaders to drive performance

Half (50%) of gambling operators are currently losing revenue due to shortcomings with their payment gateway. And the majority (55%) of payments professionals within the gambling sector report that they are coming under increasing pressure from business leaders to improve payments performance as a matter of urgency.

Global research from emerchantpay reveals that two thirds (60%) of payments leaders within the gambling sector believe they need to make significant improvements in payments performance over the next 12 months in order to avoid losing significant numbers of customers and revenue.

The Performance Pulse white paper reports that the current lack of optimisation within payments is largely driven by a need to prioritise innovation and a lack of understanding and support from senior leadership. Only 39% of payments leaders feel that the wider business fully recognises the value of optimising payments performance, and only 35% believe that business stakeholders fully understand the benefits of an agile payment infrastructure.

The research indicates that senior business leaders in the gambling sector are more interested in innovation and transformation within payments, rather than looking at current systems and delivery, more so than in any other industry. Three quarters (78%) of payments leaders within gambling report that innovation is more important than maintaining high levels of performance in payments within their organisation.

Where payments teams are attempting to improve performance across their payments eco-system, they are hampered by a lack of data and insight to make decisions and optimise processes. More than three quarters (76%) of gambling payments leaders report that analysing payments data is a challenge within their organisation and the majority of operators are failing to review and optimise payments performance on a monthly basis in areas such as domestic routing, Merchant Identification Number set-up and processing through the payment gateway.

Remarkably, gambling operators trail behind businesses in all other sectors when it comes to regularly reviewing and optimising the performance of payments pages. Only 42% of operators are reviewing and optimising their payment pages on a monthly basis.

The research finds that there is not a single area of payments where a majority of gambling payments leaders are happy with their current performance. Less than a third (30%) are fully satisfied with their ability to analyse decline codes, and only 22% with their ability to analyse fraud data to set better rules.

Worryingly, given the associated risks, only 22% of payments leaders in gambling are fully satisfied with their current ability to monitor fraud in real-time, a lower proportion than in any other sector.

Jonas Reynisson, CEO of emerchantpay, said: “Too many gambling operators are simply ‘leaving money on the table’ by not offering their customers the fastest, easiest, most personalised payment experiences possible and by not fully understanding, detecting and preventing fraud. What’s more, they’re risking customer loyalty and brand reputation by neglecting performance. Operators have to start providing payments leaders with the tools, skills and support to do their jobs effectively and to deliver real value to the organisation. The opportunity for those businesses that can put in place the processes, technologies and behaviours necessary to optimise payments performance are huge.”

Other barriers to improving payments performance in gambling are the burden of regulation and compliance obligations which are becoming an increasing drain on resources (40%), lack of in-house resources and skills (30%), finding appropriate partners / vendors (28%) and outdated technology and tools (24%).

60% of payments leaders within the gambling sector report that Brexit and the associated foreign exchange risks are adding uncertainty to their payment strategy.

The most common areas where payments leaders feel that they are currently driving optimal performance are ensuring that payments infrastructure is flexible and agile, delivering efficient processing through the payment gateway and providing preferred local payment methods on payment pages.

Reynisson concluded: “Operators need to ensure they have access to the data they need across all areas of their payments infrastructure and the dedicated resources and skills to translate this data into meaningful and actionable insight. The payments industry has to to do a better job in supporting payments teams in all areas of the gambling industry to develop robust businesses cases for investment in this area, which prove the commercial value of increased performance, in terms of enhanced customer experience, increased revenue and higher margins.”

The full Performance Pulse white paper is available for download here.

CIO Magazine will be running an expanded feature on this report in it’s August issue.