Thoughts on an Industry: iGaming
With Covid-19 keeping everyone at home, what can iGaming companies do to stay competitive?
With a third of the population on lockdown and government mandated social distancing in place, many people are turning to iGaming for entertainment and as a means to socialize. For a vast number of players around the globe, iGaming is a way to feel connected and also escape the day to day reality of the new normal.
The iGaming sector is one of the most profitable on the internet. Before the pandemic the iGaming industry (excluding non-casino games) was expected to reach, in Europe alone, a turnover of €29.3 billion by 2022. The sector is extremely fast moving with trends coming and going faster than your average broadband. The market is driven by gamers and fans who have the ability to make or break a product through the buzz they create.
In the first quarter of 2020, game developers in China reported an increase in signups, directly correlating with restrictions being put in place in January. In fact, due to the increased activity, some services were unable to handle the load resulting in lengthy delays. This is something that is being seen across multiple online industries as more and more people are connecting for work, entertainment, and shopping.
With an increase in traffic, payments generally take longer and are more likely to be declined. To counteract these effects, iGaming platforms using a Payment Orchestration Platform such as IXOPAY have the ability to use smart routing. Smart routing has many benefits, but it is incredibly useful in times of high traffic, as you are able to use load balancing to direct percentages of your payments to different Payments Service Providers, thereby spreading the volume and reducing the strain on any particular PSP, as well as using cascading to increase conversion rates. Another feature, essential for those working in a high-risk industry, is fall back routing. The technical availability of your payment service provider is mission-critical and fall back routing works as a safety feature; if a payment service provider is unavailable, it will automatically divert the transaction to one that is keeping customers happy and conversion rates up.
However, it is not all sunshine and rainbows for the industry: with the indefinite suspension of most sporting events, the sports betting sub-sector has taken a substantial hit. In order to recuperate some of this lost revenue, the news outlet CNBC has reported that some sites are getting creative and are encouraging customers to place bets on the weather, however this is unlikely to keep the average player interested and engaged. Providers who also offer casino games are trying to migrate their clients over into these high-risk, high-reward amusements. However, certain governments have been vocal about placing additional restrictions, such as tightening daily spend limits, in order to protect those who may be vulnerable in these unprecedented times.
Some companies have also reported a hit in advertising revenue. As with everyone trying to make sure their business survives, the purse strings are being pulled tighter and advertising budgets made smaller. So what can companies do in order to convert as many new customers as possible and protect their revenue streams in this massive, yet saturated market?
A simple solution is to look at how your potential customers are onboarded.
In order to start playing, potential players first need to be onboarded. This is where a lot of operators lose potential customers: if the process is overly complicated and time-consuming, the user will give up and find another platform. One of the easiest ways to simplify this process is to provide payment methods that your client is familiar with.
A Payments orchestration platform, like IXOPAY, offers connectivity to a multitude of alternative payments methods (APMs) via a single integration. This is incredibly useful on the cashier page, as the end-user is able to choose a payment method that they recognize and trust, with the most relevant payment solutions for the country they are playing from being given precedence automatically.
It will be interesting to see how the industry develops and evolves from this situation and what will happen when the lockdowns are finally lifted. But with a captive audience, now is the perfect time to increase your iGaming client base.
IXOPAY is a payments orchestration platform enabling independent, flexible and global payment processing. As a highly scalable and PCI-DSS certified “fintech enabler”, IXOPAY fulfills the needs of large merchants as well as those of “white label” clients: payment service providers (PSPs), acquirers and independent sales organizations (ISOs). The modern, easily extendable architecture offers smart transaction routing & cascading, state-of-the-art risk & fraud management, fully automated reconciliation and settlements processing, comprehensive reporting as well as plugin-based integration of acquirers, payment service providers and alternative payment methods (APMs).
IXOPAY is part of the IXOLIT Group, founded in Vienna, Austria in 2001. With local entities in Austria and the USA, IXOLIT supports national and international customers across various industry verticals. The owner-led and -financed company has grown from 2 to more than 65 employees and is focused on building innovative solutions for eCommerce.
Please find more information about IXOPAY here: https://www.ixopay.com