As we get closer to the Super Bowl, one of the biggest gambling events of the year, what better time to take a step back and look at trends in the industry? iovation, a TransUnion company, has released it’s 2020 iGaming Report, and this year’s edition takes an in-depth look at mobile platforms, various forms of fraud and adherence to regulations.
A competitive iGaming market has given players more choice on their mobile device than ever, and trust has become a premium currency. In their report, iovation notes 63% of consumers surveyed didn’t open an account with a website because they had concerns about the safety of their mobile offering. Of the consumers that did open an account, 88% responded they were unlikely to return to a site after a bad experience. “57% said they would not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile website,” the report notes, emphasizing the importance of a great mobile design.
But as iovation is a company focused on online fraud and safety, the rest of the report focuses primarily on how operators can safeguard their own interests, and that of the player. They note that in 2019, there was a rise in bonus abuse of 72%, and a 37% growth in reports of credit card fraud in the iGaming industry.
The solution to these problems is greater checks at the player onboarding stage, including Know Your Customer (KYC) steps, age verification and identity proofing. But it’s a tricky balance, because if these steps are burdensome, players may simply not sign up. 87% of respondents said companies need to make this process more seamless, and 90% expect a consistent experience across the website and mobile platforms. “Providing a secure and friction-right mobile experience to onboard new players has never been more important for competing effectively in the iGaming market with new countries and states seemingly legalizing online gambling every week,” said Greg Pierson, TransUnion’s senior vice president of business planning and development.
Not to leave readers guessing, iovation has a few suggestions of how to accomplish this. They note that player habits can be monitored by machine learning, and by using identity proofing, geofencing and device authentication, fraud can be reduced. They generally recommend automating as much of the verification process as possible, both to improve player experience, but to be more compliant with regulations.
This has the added benefit of helping to prepare for the next wave of fraud in payments that iovation anticipates. While they haven’t seen the same level of fraud in eWallets, Bitcoin and direct debits, they caution that the only way to keep these methods as safe as they are is to apply as many customer identity checks as regulations require, and then some.
While all of these points might seem self-explanatory, they hold important lessons that many new operators could learn from. As iovation’s press release announcing this report notes, they’re open to discussing these issues further at ICE London 2020.