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Eightroom’s Vpag: Affiliation wallets are the remedy to player retention woes

| By iGB Editorial Team | Reading Time: 6 minutes
From marketing to technology, no stone has been left unturned by the igaming industry when it comes to creating an effective player loyalty strategy. But as more markets begin to open up, we need to cast our nets further afield and look towards digital affiliation wallets as a means of retaining players, according to Lucila Cirio, Head of payments at Eightroom.

All eyes have been on the Brazil market since the government announced that it would be regulating online gambling. But as more operators and suppliers continue to flood the market, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd.

As the Brazilian market continues to mature, we’ll likely see more companies get more creative with their marketing strategies – think celebrity ambassadors, exclusive promotions and even fan experiences. This all sounds great on paper, but marketing campaigns such as these can be a very costly affair.

Throwing money at a multitude of marketing campaigns may help you increase the volume of advertising campaigns that you’re able to roll out. But what good is volume when you still face the issue of brand recall, and long-term sustainability?

Encouraging player loyalty through a simplified payment system

Retaining players seems to be a topic which has dominated industry discussions for years. And despite these ongoing conversations, it seems apparent that no one has yet found the secret to ensuring players stay loyal to a particular site.

When entering a new market, such as Brazil, player acquisition is important, but player retention is paramount. It is loyal players which keep the cogs turning on the day-to-day and can even act as an effective marketing tool, especially when it comes to word of mouth.

Vpag, powered by Eightroom, hopes to simplify the problem of player retention through the use of affiliation wallets. Back in November 2023, Vpag set out on a mission to find the best combination between marketing and payments, and as a result, the Vpag Wallet was developed.

Putting the bettor first

With a mantra of putting the consumer first, the Vpag Wallet is a digital wallet which enables users to manage their online betting funds and also access “a range of advantages”.

Cirio explains that when using the Vpag Wallet, players can send money to their favourite sportsbooks and casinos “in less than five seconds” – a time which is considerably quicker than more traditional wallets available on the market.

A key consideration that Eightroom made when developing its digital wallet was the frustration that many players face when trying to make deposits and withdrawals. We’ve all heard stories of withdrawals taking several hours, if not days. And when you’re trying to retain players, time really is of the essence.

So, with that in mind, Eightroom’s Vpag has ensured its players will have access to unlimited and instant deposits via PIX and immediate withdrawals directly into the user’s bank account. “This way the bettor centralises their bankroll directly with Vpag and can deposit and withdraw immediately to the operator of their choice,” Cirio continues.

Providing a user experience

It’s not just the speedy deposits and withdrawals that can benefit the player. In fact, Cirio notes that by using Vpag Wallet, bettors can enjoy a more unique user experience, adding, “It could be the one offering the best odds, the best bonuses, the best markets, the best benefits, or simply the operator the gambler is most happy to use.

“That way Brazilian players can enjoy a unique experience including marketing incentives, and an exclusive customer care approach in a safe and mobile first environment.”

A lot of these benefits sound great for the player, but what are the advantages of using affiliation wallets for operators?

Alongside the Vpag Wallet, the company has also developed an operator-centric gateway solution, otherwise known as Vpag Flash, which aims to support those operators looking to explore the nascent Brazilian market.

Vpag Flash is a solution for merchants to collect payments locally, subsequently reducing any processing fees, making it a much more cost-effective option for operators. Payments are then processed “in a fast, simple and secure way”, with operators then able to receive funds at a time and in a currency of their choosing.

“The two formats together are the right solution for any merchant who wants to optimise their deposits, and who also wants to have access to a solid customer base from our financial products and marketing products, resulting in one of the best player values in the Brazilian market.”

“Vpag direct cashier integration provides a 100% customisable solution and enables global merchants to impact 95% of the Brazilian population.”

In a market as lucrative as Brazil, having a solution which is customisable is of the utmost importance. Launching a product for European bettors across the Brazilian market, just won’t work.

Embracing alternative payment methods to ensure a robust solution

Within the payments space, one of the ongoing debates has been whether more gaming operators need to embrace alternative payment methods, such as digital wallets.

For the traditionalists, the idea of relying on a new technology to handle our transactions may seem daunting at first. Some of the questions which may spring to mind might include ‘Are digital wallets secure? Is it more efficient? Will this just complicate the transaction process?’.

Eightroom has taken every step possible to guarantee that not only does security remain at the forefront of its product portfolio, but that the overall user experience remains as streamlined as possible. 

Prioritising a secure and streamlined transaction

Cirio explains, “Security is our top priority. To ensure the integrity of our product, we have developed robust compliance procedures for partners and bettors looking to integrate or use our wallet’s platform. This is, while delivering an exceptional user experience.

“In less than five minutes, all users go through a smooth identity verification process and are ready to start betting through the Vpag platform.

“On the other hand, all websites integrated within the Wallet are subjected to a meticulous compliance verification. We collaborate with partners who prioritise integrity as much as we do, adhering to rigorous rules to prevent money laundering practices and comply with the latest data privacy regulations.

“Vpag is also an intermediary tool between the player and the bookmaker, so a Vpag customer will always have an extra layer of security and peace of mind in their transactions through our customer support.”

Incentivising players in a new market

In addition to a clear focus on security, when creating the digital wallet, the Eightroom team sought to create a product which offers something new for players within the Brazilian market. This is where the idea of player incentives comes in.

In this regard, they avoid the standard ‘free bet’ offers that are a frequent promotion on bookmakers’ apps. Instead, when players complete a transaction using the Vpag Wallet, they can accumulate a series of points which can then be used for added benefits, such as Club V+.

“Traditional payment doesn’t bring any benefits to the user, it’s a simple transfer of money. In a specialised wallet, however, the player accumulates points for doing what he already does – transferring money to his favourite operator – and thus adds benefits that can be used in the future,” Cirio explains.

“Vpag can offer its customers exclusive conditions at the bookmakers, since we have excellent commercial conditions with the operators. We can offer a final product with an excellent user experience, exclusive benefits for its affiliates, support and security, all in line with all the requirements and compliance of betting regulations in Brazil.

“In this way, Vpag Wallet fulfils its role of being a useful and safe tool for the bettor, and consequently the partner operators get to enjoy our qualified traffic and high value players.”

Building loyalty through a unique player scheme

With the challenge of finding a unique way of attracting player loyalty, Eightroom has devised a player scheme that it feels steps away from typical customer offers which can appear overused and ultimately less appealing. Club V+ is the loyalty club which awards points to players based on when they deposit with a bookmaker, which can later be swapped for benefits. And this is where it gets more interesting.

Unlike other loyalty schemes, the Eightroom team wanted to bring something new to the table, allowing verified V+ Members to receive more competitive odds from bookmakers, as well as the chance to “multiply their points up to ten times more”. 

According to Cirio, “Being a V+ member means having accounts created at bookmakers through the direct links offered by Vpag. As a benefit, you will accumulate extra points and exclusive advantages on our partner sites.”

Actively supporting varying budgets

This isn’t the only thing which sets the Club V+ aside from other loyalty schemes. With the Brazil market expected to boom in the coming years, Eightroom is confident that it can help its operator partners to cater to the needs of high-roller players. 

“Another differentiator is the high deposit and withdrawal limits, set according to the documentation sent by the user, which makes Vpag a tool that caters for bettors of all profiles. Members with higher limits also enjoy other premium benefits, such as bonuses on their birthdays and support via WhatsApp.

“Points can be exchanged for bonuses at partner bookmakers or for physical products of various kinds. We offer everything from t-shirts to motorcycles, as well as electronics, perfumes, cell phones and dozens of other useful and attractive products.”

Promotions can be one way of engaging a player, but providing a scheme which allows them to accumulate points in the long-term is a strong way of encouraging a player to return time and again. Ultimately, for operators, this can help drive revenues, increase first time deposits and cut long-term marketing expenses.

While Vpag Wallet and Vpag Flash were initially developed specifically for the Brazilian market, Cirio suggests that the company already has plans to expand the reach of its products. Although she kept her cards somewhat close to her chest when pressed on where the next market will be, “Our user-friendly UX/UI allows Brazilian players to access sports betting and casino providers, make deposits and withdrawals with a simple tap and earn redeemable points when making transfers to merchants. The product was launched for the Brazilian market, but by 2024, plans are to expand to other countries in the region.”

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