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Ready to re-open with cashless? Consumers will expect the option from day one

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Ready to re-open with cashless? Consumers will expect the option from day one
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

As more and more retail operations increasingly implement cashless systems ahead of reopening to the public, OKTO’s Director of Gaming Simon Dorsen spoke to Coinslot about how the fintech firm’s digital payment solution, OKTO.WALLET has been specifically designed with the leisure and hospitality industry’s main concerns in mind; user friendly, affordability, security and social responsibility as well as the universality that consumers are craving for.  

Do you always pay with plastic, or are you more comfortable with cash? Have you ever paid friends by your phone while you’re all out for drinks at the pub? Do you have a lonely banknote sitting in your wallet for almost a year now, to wager while you are enjoying your drink at the pub? These questions as well as the days of pubs’ players and visitors with cash-stuffed pockets will not be the norm anymore, as consumer preferences are rapidly changing and the age of mobile payments is taking over the world.

Going cashless is not only the newest tech trend but also a strategic goal, especially when this comes as a complete cashless ecosystem and through an open and interconnected mobile payment app. With the coronavirus, a generation of change has occurred in just a few months. This is forcing all sectors to reconsider their business models, how they interact with their customers and their routes to market.

The number of cashless payments in the UK has been great than cash and growing in proportion since 2017, and this trend has accelerated now more than ever, as businesses increasingly opt for offering choice and the convenience of paying in a way that suits the consumer. This is already evident in pubs where it has been reported that 30 percent of customers have already used a mobile to pay in a pub based and from my discussions with pub operators between the lockdowns cash accounted for only 20 percent of F&B sales. It is now a natural progression to extend the choice of compliant digital payment to the gaming machine player. This deliverers convenience for the player and better operations for the pub.

Retail operations are now competing in an increasingly digital world, where consumers are no longer constrained to traditional payment methods but have access to more choice than ever before. As pubs and other operations reopen, it is paramount for them to have a digital payment strategy that ensures people to keep revisiting the venue, improving efficiency and customer experience. For me, this will be enabled with a solution that offers cashless convenience across all touchpoints for the consumer.

The key, however, is to find the cashless system that suites the specific needs of your business, and this is particularly true for more complex retail environments such as pubs, adult gaming centres and casinos. The selection of a reliable, licensed payment partner to help activate this digital payment strategy is critical. Few providers are focusing on the nuanced needs of gaming operators, especially for land-based, while at the same time supports a universal, open-loop, cashless solution that consumers are looking for. Consumers want simply to use, move and collect their money anywhere, not just for gaming and this to be in a simple, fast and secure way.

At OKTO, our gaming division has built a solution to meet the exact specification of the UK’s pub and leisure industry. Our secure, open-loop, cashless end-to-end payment solution delivered through OKTO.WALLET payment app is designed to meet all the niche demands of retail gaming customers,

allowing players to move funds instantly across the entire payment ecosystem via the OKTO app; from the gaming machine, ordering app or at the bar/restaurant, even to any retail or online business that accepted debit card through the OKTO Prepaid Mastercard® linked to OKTO app.

We have a 360 approach, which the operators need, to get ahead through field-proven technologies and the extensive know-how of key integrations across all physical touchpoints in and out of the gaming venue as well as a strong understanding and proven ability to integrate the wallet with digital touchpoints.

Working with major gaming and betting operators across Europe and gaining extensive experience and feedback, we are set to provide a tailored solution also for the UK. Having a deep understanding of different markets requirements, we are aligned with the operators focus on efficiencies and due to the software nature of our solution, we provide fast deployment that requires no additional investment at the gaming machines. This is especially important after such a long period of disruption, during which retail businesses have been prevented from trading. Understandably, many operators currently can’t or don’t want to bear a big financial hurdle for setting up a cashless payment facility, and with OKTO they don’t have to.

Social responsibility is also a key priority. All the main tools of social responsibility are fully covered through the OKTO app. From a strict age verification process and time-out periods to betting limits, and profit and loss calculator as well as a specific section with national problem gaming helplines are within the app and are all designed to enhance further consumer protection.

The most sophisticated technology often seems the simplest. Our easy-to-use solution allows players to go simply to a gaming machine, press a button to use OKTO, and deposit funds to start playing. And it’s the same in the cashout; they get the winnings back to OKTO wallet in real-time. As we can also onboard pubs as merchants, if OKTO users can spend some money on food and drink in the pub, they simply can; and they can also split the bill with their friends or send and receive money from their friends using the OKTO app.

Retail gaming and betting operators in the UK but also Spain, Romania, Greece and Cyprus are already ready to adopting the OKTO cashless solution. Many pubs and operators are capitalising now, during this time before lockdown ends, to install the OKTO cashless system and progress their business on all fronts. Will you follow suit for your retail gaming business? Will you cash in on the trend for cashless? Open with OKTO!

 

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Anda Seat Launches the New Phantom 3 Six Invitational 2022 Edition Gaming Chair

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

World leading gaming chair brand, Anda Seat, who previously manufactured race car seats and partnered with prestigious brands in the sports and e-sports field, today, presents its Phantom 3 Six Invitational 2022 Edition gaming chair. In association with Ubisoft, Anda Seat Rainbow Six Invitation 2022 Edition gaming chair is designed to provide ultimate support and comfort to enhance the gaming or working experience. This Anda Seat 2022 revolutionary Phantom 3 Six Invitational 2022 Edtion will first debut in the US and the MSRP is $329.99 on the Anda Seat official website with the early bird discounts!

The 2022 Six Invitational, the world championship tournament for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, will be taking place from February 8th to 20th this year. To celebrate the tournament, the new branded chairs from Anda Seat bring design, comfort, functionality and quality to e-sport fans. The Six Invitational 2022 edition includes the Rainbow 6 Siege icons and features orange, green, red and blue arrows in a stylish design, sure to appeal to fans of the game.

What is Rainbow Six?

Rainbow Six, developed by Ubisoft, is a game where multiplayers are at the forefront the experience, focusing on gameplay that is just the right mix of tactics, destruction and unique heroes. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege by Ubisoft is more than a game, it’s a thriving community with 25 million players now and counting. Likewise, the Anda Seat Six Invitational 2022 Edition gaming chair is more than a gaming chair, it’s a healthy and productive way for gaming or working.

What are the benefits of the Anda Seat Six Invitational 2022 Edition gaming chair?

The Rainbow Six Invitational 2022 Edition are based on the Anda Seat latest sumptuous series gaming chair- the Phantom 3 which is part of the revolutionary Anda Seat 2022 range. This series is made from updated leatherette where the top grade PVC leather is the best from the company yet with a soft and smooth touch that rivals the texture of genuine leather. The reshaped flatter seat wings ensure a spacious and cozy seat base whilst the ergonomic backrest nestles into the natural curvature of the back. This coupled with premium velvet covered XL size lumbar pillow and head pillow keep users at peak performance.

Unlike other gaming chairs, the Phantom 3 has a special modular MagClap design that can be assembled by one person with ease. Just slide the backrest into the seat base, then clamp magnetic side covers on both sides. The Anda Seat Phantom 3 series gaming chair provides next-level sitting experience with ultimate all-day-comforts.

The Phantom 3 Six Invitational 2022 edtion gaming chair will first debut in the US and the MSRP is $329.99 on the Anda Seat official website with the early bird discounts. Buy earlier, save more.

Discount 15% OFF 10% OFF No Discount
Price $280.49 $296.99 $329.99
Time Frame Buy Now Buy in February Buy in March
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Gismart releases BillionPeeps NFTs with an intention to expand into blockchain games

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Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Gismart, the developer of mobile games and entertainment apps, has released BillionPeeps: an NFT collection dedicated to its recent milestone of one billion downloads. The company has been researching the blockchain gaming market for some time, making a decision to open a new internal division dedicated to blockchain games. The blockchain games unit is currently under formation with talent partially moved from the existing casual games team as well as new hires.

Gismart’s employees became the first owners of the BillionPeeps collection. 360 current employees of Gismart and Flime by Gismart (a casual games studio owned by Gismart) received one NFT each; distributed at random. All new employees will also receive one NFT from the collection on joining the company as a part of the company’s benefit package. The collection is limited to 10,000 NFTs. BillionPeeps is already available on leading NFT marketplace OpenSea, meaning gaming and NFT enthusiasts can get involved too.

The BillionPeeps collection will be featured in the company’s new project, which is  planned to be released next year. NFT owners will be among the first to participate in the in-game events and will have early-bird access to valuable in-game items. In addition, all holders of NFTs from the BillionPeeps collection will be able to participate in an annual lottery and other exclusive events.

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Love at First Sight: Kwalee Acquires Narrative Specialists Tictales

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Kwalee, a world-leading game developer and multiplatform publisher, has made its first ever studio acquisition with a deal that brings French developer Tictales into its increasingly-global family.

Established as one of the world’s foremost mobile game developers and publishers, Kwalee has achieved more than 750 million downloads across its hypercasual games portfolio.

The deal to buy Tictales is the first acquisition by Kwalee in its 10-year history, signalling its serious intent to build upon global hypercasual success with both casual and hybrid-casual titles.

Tictales, whose narrative-based mobile games have been downloaded more than 6 million times and played for more than 350 million hours, will continue to operate with creative independence while benefiting from Kwalee’s marketing expertise.

Screenshot from Perfume of Love by Tictales

14 games have been developed and published by Tictales since the studio’s founding in 2015, including Perfume of Love, Fictions and Swiit Crush – Interactive Stories. The company specialises in free-to-play romance narrative games, and its titles are acclaimed by fans globally.

Headquartered in Leamington Spa, UK, Kwalee has doubled in size over the past year thanks to rapid global expansion. The developer and publisher also has offices in Bangalore, India and Beijing, China along with remote team members all around the world. With the acquisition of Tictales, the company now has team members spread across 18 countries.

Kwalee boasts the world’s most prolific hypercasual games development studio, having published more than 40 number one mobile games – most of which were developed by a dedicated internal team. Internal development is complemented by a dedicated mobile game publishing team working with talented developers all over the world, led by SEGA and Ubisoft veteran Will Cox.

“We have been committed since day one to creating amazing mobile fiction for our audience and I’m very proud of all the team members of Tictales for this milestone,” said Christophe Chocho, Sales Manager and Co-Founder of Tictales.

“The long-term vision of Tictales is to bring bigger franchises to the world, with our production capacity increasing and new talents joining our team. We and Kwalee share the same philosophy about high-quality games and we cannot wait to show our exciting new projects to the world.”

“Our talented team crafts the best narrative experiences for fans to enjoy for many years,” added Harouna Camara, Creative Director and Co-Founder of Tictales.

“Joining Kwalee allows us to concentrate on these passions and specialisms while benefiting from their expertise, particularly in marketing and publishing.”

“It’s a proud moment for us to make Kwalee’s first acquisition, and Tictales is the perfect partner,” said Kwalee CEO David Darling.

“With their successful track record of casual mobile games and ability to tell a compelling story through their games, their ambitions match our own and we’re looking forward to building collective success.”

A legend of the UK games industry who co-founded Codemasters and led the company for 20+ years before establishing Kwalee, Darling is writing yet another chapter in his decades-long gaming career with this acquisition – and he’s not ruling out more deals for companies with complementary skill-sets.

David Darling, CEO of Kwalee

Developers with hypercasual, hybrid-casual or casual mobile games can submit, market-test and get their games published using the Kwalee Publishing Portal. In a process that takes only minutes, all that’s needed are a few 15-second gameplay videos, or a simple prototype: https://www.kwalee.com/publish-with-us/.

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