Adam is TruNarrative’s Head of Gaming and a 10 year veteran of Identity Management in the Gaming industry.
This blog outlines his thoughts on Gaming Operators onboarding and verification process, and how there is a lot going on behind the scenes that customers don’t see but are heavily influenced by.
The Hidden Customer Journey
Being both a customer and employee of the gambling industry has made me fascinated by the online gambling customer journey, from signing up to cashing out.
As the industry evolves, so do operators’ efforts to keep customers coming back.
After all, the customer journey is key to everything external.
Previously, I’ve either stopped halfway through the sign-up process or closed my account at a later date due to mundane and manual processes. I know I’m not the only one… It’s crazy to think that there are still operators out there who haven’t optimised their customer journey to keep revenue at a peak.
You’ll know all about marketing expenses and the ever-increasing cost of acquiring customers, the challenges of keeping customers loyal and meeting the regulatory requirements throughout the whole customer journey. Let’s be honest, it’s not easy.
It might not be easy. But, it is essential. And, that’s why it’s so important to ensure customers seamlessly glide between processes throughout their customer lifespan. If this isn’t you, you’ll notice the operators who are on the ball as their customer journeys will convert at a much higher percentage than their competitors. (For this reason, I hope your processes are on point!)
However, while maximising your customer journey is imperative, it’s arguably even more important to guarantee these processes are easy to maintain and manage at the back end, in regards to fraud, risk, KYC, VIP & customer care.
Even though I’ve worked 10 years+ in the industry, my wife still believes a person signs up to an account, makes a deposit and places a bet. And, that’s it. Simple. Right?
If only it was that easy…
If you’ve been in the industry for long enough, you know this isn’t the case. There are far more processes to be done and boxes to be ticked. Gone are the days when operators only had to carry out a basic “Know Your Customer” check.
What Customers Don’t See…
The customer journey starts before the customer even registers. As soon as a customer lands on your website the process has already begun.
Behind the scenes, an operator is already looking at the fingerprint of the device…
- What level of risk does this person give?
- Which country are they coming from?
- Are they masking their IP address?
- Has the device previously been associated with a bad customer or businesses?
KYC & Politically Exposed Persons (PeP) & Sanctions.
- Have they self-excluded?
- Has this person been seen before?
- Has this email or phone number been used with different name/s previously?
Adding a card & making 1st deposit
- Does the card match the person who registered?
- Are they depositing a large first amount, or does it seem a lot for their age?
Ongoing betting & habits
- What are they betting on?
- What is their typical behaviour?
- How much do they typically bet?
- When do they normally bet?
Change of habits
- Why are they spending more now?
- Why are they betting outside of their usual times?
- Why are they now playing on casino, bingo, sportsbook, when previously they just bet on horse racing?
- Has their account been compromised, or have they now developed an irresponsible gambling habit?
If the individual has spent X within a timescale, can they afford this?
Gambling is fun, but it can be addictive. As an industry, we have a responsibility to do all we can to safeguard and ensure people do not gamble beyond their means.
Change of circumstances…
Lost job? Fallen into fraud? Resorted to crime to finance their lifestyle?
Maybe they’re now in the public eye, a PEP, and offer a different type of risk by having them as a client.
Let’s be honest, on-boarding and maintaining the customer journey is so much harder these days. With the never ending advancements in technology, people are getting more savvy, and fraudsters are getting more intelligent. This can create a culture of abusing regulation put in place to stop people gambling over their means. It’s a win-win situation for the customer.
If they win the bet, happy days,
If they lose, they contact you and say, “I spent my whole year’s uni money online last night and I want it back” or “I got drunk last night, and I’ve spent my weekly shop money and I want it back.”
It shows how things have changed over the last 10-20 years. Both my parents and grandparents would budget week by week, focusing on food for the kids first and prioritise from there. These days there seems to be an attitude of ‘how can I get the best of both worlds’.
As an operator, you need to balance how you monitor your customers, without taking on a parental role.
There really is so much work you need to carry out when considering your customer journey. That’s why businesses often have multiple teams dedicated to specific processes. After all, it isn’t just regulators who can challenge your company now. Solicitors bring cases too.
So, choosing the right process to run your company is imperative. If you choose to go more manually, you’ll suffer cost and time burdens, and risk losing customers you’ve already invested in due to a poor onboarding or high friction experience.
The successful operators out there rely on more automated process, integrating multiple third party providers to help offer a smoother customer journey, reducing time and effort at the back end for their workers.
This does come with its own challenges:
- Multiple contracts & relationships to maintain with 3rd party providers.
- Multiple SLA’s
- Multiple API integrations that all come at a cost to build into their platform.
- Multiple invoices having to be paid.
- Multiple solutions that all speak a completely different language to each other; causing breaks and failure in the journey.
- Having the ability to use the services that are agnostic, have many providers, single contract, standardised language and a single api.
I truly believe this part of the gambling industry is changing! The way to stay ahead of the curve is to be agnostic and have the ability to access as many providers as possible in an automated, frictionless process. Using a platform where you can plug into all the relevant suppliers will help take operators to the next level and eliminate the inefficient old process of multiple contracts & API feeds with different suppliers, giving you a clunky stop start, unfriendly customer journey for both customers and the operators team and adding time and cost to the journey.
If you like reading my thoughts and you have made it this far, why not find out how I and TruNarrative can help your organisation take on more happy players and stay compliant. Fill in the form below.