Africa’s unbanked may not have a better option than mobile money services for gambling, but they may need one soon. That was the takeaway from SBC Digital Summit Africa panel, ‘Payments in Africa,’ as gambling operators are urged to find options that will meet customer demand.
As banking services haven’t been the greatest, many African nations, and the gambling services that cater to them, have turned to mobile payment options provided by telecom providers. “It has therefore become impossible to do anything in the online space, without having access to these telco based payment services,” said Mark Tipping, CEO of Gaming4Africa.com.
Governements are now discouraging these options, pushing domestic businesses to safer and more traditional payment services. The dilemma, he noted, is that traditional e-wallets have a history of being scam-prone. “Nigerian consumers always had their reservations about using traditional online payment services such as e-wallets, being widely mistrusted,” said Konfambet CEO Tunde Aremu.
Now with the digital economy starting to boom, Africans want more options, but they want them to be better. “We now see that customers want to use more secure options and will pay through card or e-wallet options,” said Aremu. Knofambet is trying to meet those needs by using card carrier services such as Paystack Flutterwave and InterSwitch.
The problem with the mobile, telco options gambling services currently rely on is the security vulnerability created by a simple phone number. Tipping said:
“When it comes to mobile money, the risks are really visible around account abuse, rather than financial transactions. Mobile money allows for instant withdrawals, without bookmaker verifications, this has led to mass bonus abuse even for very small amounts.”
Candice Moodley, Finance Manager for Gbets Online, noted that African bettors want the same sophisticated options the rest of the world is getting, with strong KYC and AML protections, while they also “want to be serviced in the most seamless and convenient way.” Moodly went on to note that the market is starting to be flooded by new payment options, but they aren’t that promising in terms of security.
An option that checks all the boxes that African operators may want to look at is Bitcoin SV (BSV). As the recent CoinGeek Live conference revealed, BSV offers a very secure, fast, cheap, and regulatory friendly payment experience for gambling. Better yet, an operation can build its platform on the blockchain, providing provable fairness and building trust with players, something that’s been emphasized at SBC Digital Summit Africa.
The SBC Digital Summit Africa is being held online between October 6 and 7, and is ongoing right now. Stay tuned to CalvinAyre.com for the biggest stories from the event, and don’t forget to subscribe to the CalvinAyre.com YouTube channel so you don’t miss any interviews from the conference.