Despite wider economic struggles, one industry that continues to perform well is the gaming sector.
With more time to kill and when your console of choice is something you keep with you at all times, it’s easy to see why 2020 had such a positive impact on a market with such a low barrier to entry.
But, how can operators ensure they ride the crest of this wave, not swept aside in an increasingly competitive market? One key demographic may hold the key…
It is widely accepted that Millennials are defined as those born between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s to early 2000s, they comprise roughly 23% of the global population (1.8 billion).
From the advent of the computer and internet to mobile phones, the lives of Millennials so far have run parallel to a timeline of rapid technological development. They are taking advantage of advanced technology, with the rise of artificial intelligence and other new ways of working, communicating and navigating our globe.
We explored recently how FinTechs are engaging millennials, however the ways of accessing gaming services often exclude these younger generations. Despite technological advances, much of the traditional onboarding process continues to be carried out manually and heavily relies on CRA data when performing identity verification checks. These outdated processes can be time-consuming, frustrating and create a poor user experience for customers who may be likely to move to a competitor. Gaming customers (or ‘players’) infamously have some of the lowest tolerance for cumbersome ID checks out there, and a poor onboarding experience can see up to 45% of players drop off. Relying on traditional data to verify identity doesn’t just alienate the modern digital customer, it can also lead to huge demographics being unable to access the services they want.
These groups are referred to as ‘thin-file’ customers, and are those who most often fail frictionless onboarding. They’re also the most impatient players and expect instant access; if they have to wait days or even weeks to discover whether they have been approved or unapproved, they’re very likely to go to a competitor where they can be up and running in minutes. This is especially prevalent when operators are running promotions; if an operator is running a promotion for a big horse race, a new customer will want to be using their service before the race so they can make use of the promotion. If the onboarding process is taking too long to come to a decision, the customer will use a provider where they can bet on the race.
While these ‘thin-file’ customers usually have some form of identification, they often lack the documentation and credit records required by providers to perform consumer due diligence.
Smarter Identity Verification
In the last decade, gaming has largely moved into the digital space. The majority of gambling is now online in the UK, with 38.6% of all gambling revenue being generated remotely; this represented £5.5m Gross Gambling Yield in the last year.
Onboarding using mobile devices opens doors to more technology which can be used to perform biometric and liveness checks, improving the accuracy of verification. Millennials are far more open to technology playing a part in the onboarding process, but they expect digital experiences to be straightforward, easy to use, and often mobile-first. But businesses who do not take the customer journey into account when using mobile and ask customers to manually key in numerous and complicated fields which require extensive amounts of information, are likely to suffer from dropouts. A report by Osterman Research noted that 56.3% of Millennials would abandon an application for a product if they could not complete it on their mobile and would join a more mobile-friendly competitor.
Worldwide, an estimated 72% of active mobile game players are millennials and the broader audience for mobile games includes those in parts of the world where smartphones are the primary, if not only, way people connect to the internet. Given young people have very little traditional data (or thin files) it can be tricky to onboard them. For example, the UK has over 8 million people aged 18 to 30, which means you’re potentially missing out on a high proportion of users who can’t be verified to use your platform.
Over recent years, increasingly strict regulation has called for more stringent security measures to ensure players are properly protected. New regulations have centred around age & address verification and 2+2 checks, and they look set to multiply in the coming months, potentially requiring document and biometric verification in certain situations. For now, the current LCCP conditions are as follows:
2+2 identity verification checks must take place before:
- A player deposits funds or gambles.
- Access to any Free-to-Play (F2P) versions of games are made available.
- A player receives or is allocated free bets or bonuses to play with.
2+2 identity verification checks state that a customer must provide two forms of documentation that state either their Name & Date of Birth, or their Name & Address in order to be verified.
Regulators may once have been lenient on those not meeting their KYC requirements, but the tide is turning and the consequences these days are crippling; some companies have been put out of business by enormous non-compliance fines and some big brands have suffered huge reputational damage. The challenge going forward is to meet regulatory requirements without adding friction and delays, which lead to customer frustration and drop-offs.
This is where utilising a wider range of data sources can be used to draw insights on a consumer’s profile. By leveraging alternative data sources, operators can construct a richer, contextual understanding of individual consumers, enabling both more accurate risk assessment and personalised customer experiences. Combined with automated solutions and emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, businesses can automate manual tasks in the onboarding process, significantly reducing time and cost, and enabling previously excluded customers.
Gaming and gambling is now done in real-time. However, for many operators, the identity verification KYC steps that have to take place to onboard a new customer are not done in real-time. Instead, they are stuck in the dark ages, with painfully slow and outdated methods.
Operators who have been the most innovative have made the most gains in new customer acquisition, retention, and increased revenues as a result. A robust, efficient and compliant onboarding process will ensure that you win more ‘good’ customers and have them using your services as soon as possible.
How We Can Help
Here at Hello Soda, we’ve a comprehensive family of KYC and AML solutions all working together and delivered via a single API integration. Utilising all forms of data, this integrated approach helps increase pass rates in countries all over the world, which in turn increases revenue and customer acquisition with real-time onboarding, creating a better customer experience.
Our global ID, KYC & AML platform, Sodium, is designed to help save you time and money, streamline your customer journey, automate your onboarding process, reduce fraud and achieve regulatory compliance. One simple integration; a flexible 360° solution which is scalable and secure.
A unique and real-time ID scoring system intelligently verifies identity through a combination of data sources, including digital footprint verification, document authentication, facial recognition matching, liveness verification, live utility data address verification and CRA identity checks.
Utilise a single element or multiple processes – it’s entirely up to you. Learn more about how we can help to automate and simplify your verification processes to help you to learn more about your customers.
Our Future of Gaming guide details what we expect from the future of identity verification, KYC & AML for Gaming, eSports & Gambling Operators. Download it today to make sure you’re fully up to date: