The UK has seen inflation rise to the highest level in the last 30 years, with households struggling to afford their basic expenses. The cost of living crisis is being fuelled by a variety of drivers, and has left people looking for alternative ways to earn extra income. One of these is gambling.
As innovation in the fintech space develops at speed, the iGaming industry has often been one of the first to embrace new fintech services. Open banking is among the latest innovations providing solutions to iGaming operators looking for safer and more responsible user-experiences for customers.
In this blog post, we will examine how open banking is helping iGaming operators promote responsible gambling and protect vulnerable players effectively.
Why is responsible gambling important?
Responsible Gambling, also known as Safer Gambling, is a set of social responsibility initiatives by the gambling industry and governments to protect vulnerable players, including low-income groups and individuals below 18 years old, from gambling-related harm, such as addiction. Responsible gambling is a legal responsibility of gaming operators who are obligated to ensure they can protect players from gambling beyond their means.
As the UK navigates the cost of living crisis, Opinium (2022) predicts that one in four (24%) women who gamble frequently are expected to gamble more over the next months in an effort to increase household income. Therefore, ensuring safe and responsible ways to play should be at the top of gaming operators’ priority list, particularly during this time.
A gaming operator has the right to stop the access of gambling activities to a vulnerable player, but how can operators identify them? How will a gaming operator prevent a player before they deposit their funds in order to gamble?
The reason why old methods don’t work
Before alternatives such as Citizen were developed, players had to use traditional payment methods to deposit their money and play, such as cash or via a credit or debit card. However, depositing funds in this way lacks transparency.
This is because a card transaction doesn’t tell the operator whether the person behind the transaction is over 18 years old, or if they’ve been flagged by their bank as a risk or a vulnerable customer in the past. In a few words, identification isn’t possible. And if identification isn’t possible, it leaves both the player exposed to the dangers of unsafe gambling and the operator in a position that jeopardises their compliance obligations.
Open banking promotes responsible gambling experiences
Open banking is bringing greater transparency to the iGaming industry. With the help of trusted third-party payment providers who use technology underpinned by open banking, gaming operators are able to access a player’s data in real time.
Access to this data allows for more accurate and faster Know Your Customer (KYC) compliance. By connecting to a customer’s bank account, a gaming operator can verify their identity, age, location, source of funds and gambling habits in a matter of seconds. Since KYC is mandatory in all online casinos and for every betting provider, a vulnerable player won’t be able to avoid identification.
Citizen and the iGaming industry
Citizen is an account-to-account payments company based on open banking technology. From the beginning, we’ve been working closely with iGaming operators to support them to operate compliantly. Our instant cardless payments use our banking partners’ biometric security checks — allowing iGaming operators to verify account ownership using real-time data straight from a player’s bank to deposit or withdraw funds, in under one minute.
Want to hear more updates from the iGaming and payments world? Sign-up to our monthly newsletter to receive the latest news direct in your inbox.
For more resources on how to protect players and support safer gambling, visit Safer Gambling Week.