GPWA Times Magazine - Issue30 - October 2014

Reach out to players in the funnel at the right place and time By Vin Narayanan VN: How would you describe the pay- ment processing environment in New Jer- sey right now? Skrill: Evolving. It’s a new industry. VN: Was it as bad as you expected to start with? Worse than expected? What needs to happen to make things change? Skrill: It's still a process. The framework for processing gambling transactions ex- ists. So the issue really breaks down with the issuing banks who are putting the plastic into consumers’ wallets. That's an ongoing education process. It's being ad- dressed at many different levels. Was it worse than we expected? Maybe not. Is it getting better as quickly as everybody would like? Maybe not. Will it be much better in 8, 10, 12, 16 months? Sure. VN: What's the biggest stumbling block you're facing in that educational process with issuing banks? Skrill: Blanket blocking. "We don't sup- port online gambling." So the cards are blocked and declined and it becomes an education process. Our acquiring banks are pushing and we push and everybody pushes to try to make it better. VN: It's just the blanket blocking. It's not even a lack of understanding of the product. Skrill: It's a reaction to UIGEA, which didn't ban gambling but banned payment processing for illegal gambling. So there's a policy in place and they're adhering to their policy. VN: If you go back several years in the online poker world, companies like Skrill and NETeller were really popular with consumers. Yet there seems to be a want- ing (by consumers) to do everything via a credit card. One of the odd things about the U.S. payment processing scene is when an American player uses a credit card and it gets rejected, he just tries an- other credit card. And he keeps trying credit cards until one goes through, or he runs out of cards. How do you get that player to think about an e-wallet solution? Skrill: I'm not sure that mindset ever disappeared. Outside of the U.S., we (pro- cess) gambling payments with more than 42 million customers. I think it's about education to a new market that’s seeing a lot of new things for the first time. Geo- location is brand new. Online casinos in New Jersey are brand new. I think it's ed- ucating the new user what the benefits of the wallet are and why you would use us instead of just pulling out your Visa card. And it's because your Visa card is not go- ing to work. It's an education piece where we and other companies suffer, for want of a better word, from the affiliates and af- filiate networks not being in place in the States so it's very hard to get our message out there. Outside of the U.S., if I want to get a message to 20,000 consumers, I ring five affiliates and I put a banner on their pages and it's done. Here (in the U.S.), it's very difficult and very expensive to edu- cate and everyone is really just stumbling around this first six-to-12-month period trying to understand what's going on. Optimal: We think that similar to the ear- ly 2000s when the rejection rates started increasing significantly, there are alterna- PAYMENT PROCESSING IN IGAMING Reach out to players in the funnel at the right place and time