30th June 2021
As a founding director of both Game Payment Technology and Polar Moment, John has over 20 years of experience at the forefront of the payments industry. He is a recognised and respected professional across the retail payments industry, including delivering the world’s first integrated EMV solution in 2001. Over the last 2 years, John has led the evolution of the groundbreaking Game Payment solution, helping the amusement industry to meet the challenge of an increasingly cashless world.
In this series of blog posts, John shares his insights into payment solutions for the gaming and amusements industry. If you are a manufacturer, operator or supplier of gaming and amusement machines, here’s John’s advice for you!
First of all, let me ask you – what do you need from your payment solution? Your answer to that question will, of course, depend on lots of factors such as: the size of your business, the location of the venues, and the types of machines you operate. Wouldn’t it be great if you had a payment solution that suited all of your locations, and all of your machine types?
Let’s break that down into more specific needs:
If you’ve been following my blog, you will have already seen my attempts to stress the importance of player experience. Ensure your chosen payment solution can be used on all of your machines, from legacy, analogue kit to modern, state-of-the-art machines. For modern machines, GPT provides a variety of software-based solutions, including support for the GBG protocol, and for digital machines with no internet connectivity. For older machines, GPT has developed a hardware unit, which is placed inside the machine and behaves like a coin mechanism. Using Game Payment provides a consistent player experience across your entire estate.
Aside from player experience, one of your top priorities should be ensuring the security of the data and transactions flowing through your machines. All player funds are actually held in a NatWest client account, controlled by bacta’s finance team. Players’ accounts are accessed through secure e-wallets, in the cloud and not on the mobile phone The transfer of funds is protected by the same encryption technology used by the card payments industry across the globe. Processing of payments is performed by an authorised, PCI-compliant operator; Game Payment Technology never has access to payment card details.
There are lots of controls and restrictions that are designed to help players manage their spending responsibly. You will have your own thoughts and ideas on this, so ensure your chosen payment solution meets your organisation’s requirements for responsible gaming. Most app-based payment solutions include a mixture of player controls and app-based interventions, allowing players to enjoy a safe gaming experience.
Age verification is often a stumbling block for smaller venues that just don’t have the resources to check every player’s ID. Game Payment uses Yoti’s advanced technology to verify each player’s age, if they want to play on gaming machines. Its accuracy is far higher than a human being can achieve. Yoti does this by using an artificial intelligence technique called machine learning. This involves checking a large number of facial images for patterns in the data and constructing an algorithm from the results. There’s no real understanding of characteristics that humans might, consciously or unconsciously consider: wrinkles, crow’s feet, stubble, etc. To a computer, it’s just data. All of this happens in a matter of seconds once the player uploads their selfie to the app. This makes the registration process quick and simple – echoing my earlier comments about the importance of the player experience.
Once you’ve installed your chosen solution, make sure it can continue to meet your needs in the future. Ensure you have input into its development and that new features can be added to the existing solution quickly and easily. For example, one of the latest new Game Payment features is venue-specific wallets. This allows organisations to control and promote a scheme dedicated to their own customers. Player data from venue wallets can be very powerful. You can turn an anonymous player into a ‘member’ of your venue. You can know about the person, their demographics, and how and when they play. This allows you to target and incentivise each player with offers, allowing you to upsell and promote play.
These are just some of the needs that you might have as an operator. The key thing is to understand what your specific requirements are, and their relative priorities. That way you can find the right solution for you.