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Payments sector on the cusp of next revolution, states Parimatch

George Miller

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Payments sector on the cusp of next revolution, states Parimatch
Nick Izmaylov, Managing Partner at Parimatch
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Since its humble beginnings as a retail bookmaker in 1994, Parimatch has adapted significantly to betting’s digital growth to emerge as the sole company in the CIS region to offer unique credit card payment methods, becoming a market leader in its own right. As the industry faces a new wave of payment progress Nick Izmaylov, the company’s Managing Partner, explores the impact of payment consolidation, the growth of “invisible” authorisation and the coming payment method revolution.

Following the replacement of its physical footprint with a digital platform when the company moved online in 2000, 95% of Parimatch‘s revenue streams are now derived digitally causing them to adapt payment methods in innovative ways. “Secure and reliable payment methods are a key value driver for our growth, which is why we take a bespoke approach for each market we operate in,” explained Izmaylov. “For example, when I joined the company seven years ago, there was no local credit card processing in most of the CIS countries. International solutions like Safecharge or Wirecard were not an effective solution. The only way I could see us gain market share was to create a payment method which would allow us to accept payment from a customer’s credit card. So that’s exactly what we did! Now, Parimatch is the only company that has such a unique payment solution, allowing us to become a market leader in the region.”

As operators continue to develop their digital presence and expand their reach into new international markets, Parimatch continues to adapt its focus to enhance its partners’ relationships with online payments processors as the company foresees significant changes on the horizon. Izmaylov said: “It is impossible for multinational brands to operate the same way in each country it has a presence in. We predominantly operate in the CIS and Eastern Europe market, and cannot adopt the same product and payment approach in Kazakhstan as in Belarus or any other neighbouring country, for example. The same applies to online payments companies and processors. They might be suitable for five, six or maybe even ten markets, but not for all. Some markets only work by partnering with aggregation modules which means that you are working with completely different companies and technologies.”

“The payment sector has developed as a result of growth in related industries,” he continued. “Payment companies need to keep up with innovation in the industries and markets which it supports. The payment sector has experienced its revolutions; my favourites are the creation of Visa and MasterCard payment systems – both from an administrative and technological point of view and the creation of SWIFT – from an administrative point of view. The payment method sector is on the cusp of its next revolution, with the integration of Blockchain technology into database systems, such as via Government, Tax, loan histories, PS bases, etc. I believe this revolution will increase the level of operational transparency, which can only be a positive thing.”

In its early days, betting online was seen as high risk with regards to security, processing fees and third-party methods, but the investment into payments by companies like Parimatch has allowed more security, reliability and confidence for players and operators alike. “Payment methods players are using when betting online is now just as safe as any classical payments when carried out with a respected platform,” stated Izmaylov. “The level of compliance required to obtain relevant licenses helps to uphold industry standards around financial security. At Parimatch we hold more than ten licenses, all with high standards of regulations, ensuring there is no risk with our own, or our third-party suppliers’, payment systems.”

As the revolution Izmaylov predicts beckons with industry consolidation a possibility as big betting players enter new markets and major global brands testing the waters of how partnerships across countries can benefit them, Parimatch is confident it will be at the vanguard of coming trends. Commenting on which factors or technology will have the biggest impact on online payments going into 2020 and beyond, Izmaylov concluded: “Online payments are, in its essence, the process of transferring funds from one person – the customer, to another – the vendor. The most significant impact technology will have on the automation of the authorization of the customer. At the moment, payment companies are doing a considerable amount of manual work regarding AML, KYC and this is having an impact on the level of service provided to the customer. This is why I think that the most vital competition among industry players will be in the field of “invisible” compulsory authorization procedures.”

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Entain Appoints Jette Nygaard-Andersen as its New CEO

Niji Narayan

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Entain Appoints Jette Nygaard-Andersen as its New CEO
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Entain plc has appointed Jette Nygaard-Andersen as its Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect. Jette is currently an independent non-executive director of Entain.

Shay Segev, the outgoing CEO, will remain available to Jette, the Board and management until July 8, to facilitate an orderly transition.

In addition, Rob Wood, Entain’s CFO, will have the role of Deputy CEO added to his current role with immediate effect, and Sandeep Tiku, Entain’s Chief Operating Officer, will be appointed to the Board later in the year.

Barry Gibson, Chairman of Entain, said: “We are extremely fortunate to have such an outstanding candidate and readymade CEO in Jette. She is already deeply immersed in Entain’s strategy, and clearly shares our ambition to be the world-leader in sports betting and gaming entertainment.

“Jette and I have been immensely impressed by Rob. He is extremely well regarded internally and externally, and the additional responsibilities will enable him to further develop his operational skills as well as overseeing a key tenet of our growth ambitions through M&A.

“Sandeep has been integral to the development of Entain’s unique proprietary technology platform, which is a source of significant competitive advantage. His appointment not only reflects his contribution to the success of Entain but is also aligned with our aim to have a broader range of experiences and inputs on the Board.”

Jette Nygaard-Andersen said: “I am very excited to have the opportunity of continuing the extraordinary momentum that Entain has in its existing markets, as well as helping it enter new regulated markets and reach new audiences. I am delighted that Rob has agreed to take on broader responsibilities and that the importance of our proprietary technology is recognised through Sandeep’s appointment to the Board. I am deeply wedded to Entain’s commitment to providing industry-leading levels of player protection, and to its philosophy that the most sustainable business in our industry will be the most successful business in our industry. I cannot wait to get started.”

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Dutch Gambling Regulator Imposes €600,000 Fine on Virtual Coin Gaming

Niji Narayan

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Dutch Gambling Regulator Imposes €600,000 Fine on Virtual Coin Gaming
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has issued a fine of EUR 500,000 against the Curacao-licensed operator Virtual Coin Gaming (VCG) and a separate EUR 100,000 fine against an unnamed employee of the company for creating online games that the authority deemed to be games of chance.

VCG offered games via the websites www.futgalaxy.nl and nl.futgamer.com, which included online betting for football, hockey, and US sports, a FUT jackpot and game packs. Its online games were based on FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT), a card game that is part of the EA Sports FIFA video game franchise, in which players earned credits in the FUT video game either by purchasing these credits directly on www.futgalaxy.nl and nl.futgamer.com or by exchanging virtual currency earned in the EA Sports video game FIFA.

These game packs were a simulation of loot boxes found in the FUT-based FIFA video games in which players had the option to purchase six different packs with values ranging from 5000 to 100,000 credits. Highly rated soccer players were randomly added to the packs. Since the Dutch Betting and Gaming Act does not issue licenses for internet gaming, online games of chance are forbidden in the Netherlands.

Since 2018, in response to research that revealed a link between loot box games and gambling addiction, the KSA has focused on loot boxes, particularly in-game packs in FIFA video games.

The KSA pointed out that online games of chance violate the Betting and Gaming Act. According to the KSA, it was clear that this was a case of an unlicensed operator that specifically target Dutch consumers through the use of the Dutch language, the .nl domain extension and the use of the Dutch payment system iDEAL.

The KSA deemed the VCG game packs to be games of chance. Research carried out by the KSA in January 2019, bolstered by announcements on the websites themselves, revealed that participants generally are not able to predominantly influence their chances of receiving prizes from VCG loot boxes. The KSA also referred to a decision of the court The Hague of 15 October 2020 regarding Electronic Arts, which ruled that in-game packs (i.e. loot boxes) inside FIFA video games constituted games of chance.

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Vermantia Signs Content Deal with Caspian Tech

Niji Narayan

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Vermantia Signs Content Deal with Caspian Tech
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Vermantia, a leader in omni-channel content solutions, has extended its partnership with Azerbaijan’s state-licensed operator, Topaz.

The deal sees Caspian Tech provided with premium live racing betting content from the supplier’s market-leading Ultimate Live Greyhound Channel via its integration into the Vermantia CONNECT platform. On Caspian Tech’s behalf, Vermantia will set-up, and operate the bespoke satellite channel across its 500-strong Topaz branded shop estate.

“Caspian Tech represents a very important partner for us and I would like nothing more than to see us expanding our collaboration together. Topaz customers are now able to enjoy top quality live racing content, complete with high-definition pictures, a powerful bet acceptance system and a full data service,” Spyros Stavropoulos, Commercial Director at Vermantia, said.

“CONNECT has proven to be a game-changer in other markets already, combining the highest picture quality with genuine low-latency in a cost-effective solution that allows the operator to choose exactly what content they need,” Spyros Stavropoulos added.

“Our partnership with Vermantia meets both our quest for a trusted partner with an international content distribution experience and our goal to offer fast-paced and exciting betting products to our customers,” Mustafa Onder, Deputy Technical Director at Caspian Tech, said.

“We are very excited to be launching an upgraded service which we believe will prove to be an immediate hit, and no doubt enhance our retail offering with exciting action-packed betting opportunities,” Mustafa Onder added.

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