The online gaming industry has enjoyed twenty years of consistent expansion, and that growth is expected to continue, with a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in Europe of over 9% in 2020–2025.
But the cost of acquisition keeps going up, and the race is on to deliver new and better offerings to entice gamers either to move, or to use multiple providers.
For this reason, gaming has always been a marketing-driven business. Brand, and the consumer’s trust in a brand, is crucial.
Yet when it comes to payment experience, players are often let down by slow, manual processes and unexpected failures. The good news is there’s real room for brands to shine.
With this in mind, we partnered with YouGov to ask more than 3,000 regular online gamblers across Europe about their attitudes towards iGaming payments. Our research reveals five key insights. Download the full report here, including commentary from some of Europe’s biggest igaming operators, or read a summary below.
1. Players want fast payments
Instant payments consistently top the list of player priorities, with 8 out of 10 players rating fast payments as important — and they choose their gaming operators accordingly. Our survey shows that, in 5 out of 6 markets surveyed, players consider fast payments to be in their top two priorities. In comparison, a “good sign-up offer for new customers” — the bounty that has occupied marketers for so long — never makes it into a country’s top five priorities.
2. Instant withdrawals improve brand trust
Instant withdrawals increase deposits, while slow or problematic withdrawals are a key source of frustration, complaints, bad reviews – and ultimately churn. Almost two thirds of respondents said they were more likely to trust a gaming service that offered fast withdrawals and deposits (64%). While more than half (55%) said they were likely to switch to an online gaming service that offered instant withdrawals. 1 in 4 meanwhile, would consider depositing more money if they could withdraw their winnings instantly.
3. Players want to pay by bank transfer
In the UK, Germany and the Nordics around 7 in 10 players use bank transfer to pay into a gaming service. Pan-European gaming brands need to be mindful of differing cultural preferences across the continent, as card payments still dominate in France, Italy and Spain.
4. Onboarding needs to be fast and frictionless
For all online services, the onboarding challenge is simple, the customer has not yet experienced your service, so they are easier to lose. The trend is towards seamless and frictionless signups. In total, around two thirds of our respondents (65%) said they would not tolerate a signup process which lasted more than five minutes. Meanwhile, almost 6 in 10 players (58%) said they were likely to abandon sign up, if they were redirected outside of the website to make their first payment – so white-labelling any external payment providers is key.
5. Players want to play responsibly
Online gaming operators who promote responsible gambling by including tools like spending caps, are more popular than those without sophisticated limits. Around two thirds (65%) of players across are likely to use a site that promotes responsible gambling by setting spending caps and limits.
The research shows that payments are a key driver for players, whether they are choosing a new gaming provider, allocating deposits or deciding to move on. As players experience seamless digital services in other aspects of their lives, their expectations for iGaming are also changing.
For operators that means implementing more robust, instant pay-in and payout capabilities, or face increased player churn.
Here open banking can play a crucial role, delivering new payments approaches to the iGaming market. It presents an opportunity for operators to differentiate and drive customer loyalty through rapid deposits and withdrawals; a trusted white-label payment experience; and tailored responsible gaming protections.
Download the full research report here, including the view from leading iGaming operators, PaddyPower Betfair and Entain.