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Putting friction back into frictionless onboarding

| By Alice Soule | Reading Time: 6 minutes
Facing record levels of competition, has the industry buckled to the pressure of providing an increasingly frictionless onboarding process? For Equals Money chief operating officer, Matthijis Boon, this light touch verification process has potentially weakened the defence against fraud and other compliance issues. He explains how adding a little friction can lead to a more balanced and streamlined onboarding process.

Balance is the key theme across much industry legislation, however over recent years operators have leaned towards providing an increasingly frictionless onboarding process in a bid to attract and retain customers. Increased competition between operators has made it more of a challenge to get people through the front door. And one way in which operators are encouraging people to choose their platform is through a simpler registration process. A recent study shows that only 23% of the respondents would remain loyal to their current platform meaning operator concern, and the struggle to encourage customer loyalty, may be justified.

The drive for a frictionless process

Combine the frustrations of slow customer onboarding, an expanding level of competition and an average 30% onboarding verification fail rate, and it becomes apparent why operators have been battling to encourage visitors through a simplified registration process.  

Modern day bettors are becoming accustomed to instant transactions and as such, friction of any sorts is seen as an avoidable frustration. Speedy onboarding has been made readily available through the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) technology which is capable of collecting and analysing huge volumes of player data compared to human capabilities. On the plus side, this allows for immediate safer gambling triggers to be put in place and a mapping of player behaviour and predicted movements.

While the impact of frictionless onboarding may seem initially positive, particularly at a player level, it can allow for increased levels of fraud.

Boon explains that it is this industry challenge that “makes it imperative an operator partners with a reliable and trustworthy onboarding verification specialist, like Equals Money, to ensure customers feel confident in the onboarding process.”

Creating a balanced approach to onboarding

For operators, the issues surrounding replicated features and titles shared across the industry means there is a need for creativity in how customers are engaged onsite. The concern being that those who do not stay up to date with leading capabilities will fall behind the competition.

This is particularly evident in the provision of new titles that heavily rely on AI technology to create increasingly immersive experiences, as well as the ease at which customers can sign up. While operators are continuously trying to provide players with what they want, a healthy balance is always needed to ensure safer gambling remains at the crux of everything we do as an industry.

Boon and the team at Equals Money believes a thorough onboarding process is key to ensuring this, “Safer gambling remains the primary focus for operators and games developers in the industry. Through a thorough and engaging onboarding process, operators can ensure clarity through the use of AI, and verification assurance via player submission of information.”

Keeping onboarding seamless with necessary friction

With this in mind, Boon explains that the payments provider recognises the limitations of AI and as such, his team takes a more balanced approach to its integration as an onboarding verification tool. In fact, he goes as far as to suggest that while there is a requirement on those in the payments industry to stay up to date with the latest revelations in technology, there may be a point where AI could be considered as “too much” and potential inadequate for key decision making.

Boon adds, “Where we are currently holding back is on the level of decision making. As an example of transaction monitoring, these processes are AI supported, the typologies that AI uncovers goes well beyond the capability of people.

“That said – handing over the decision making to AI, fully automated is one step to far at this stage, we are currently using AI to support on the process, to recommend and detail the concerns identified. From that point an expert will take over and run the process of review and action.” 

Adding friction to ensure a safer gambling platform

With this emphasis on safer gambling, adding an element of friction to player onboarding can lead to a delay while enhanced verification checks are processed. For Boon, this is an unavoidable step that may end up as a positive move for the industry. While these pauses can be timely, this friction mitigates potential harms from fraud, bonus abuse and underage gambling.

As Boon suggests, they may not be ideal for either the player or operator. However, operators who choose to collaborate with Equals Money on their verification process, will find that the key focus is keeping processes clear and retaining a healthy balance between convenience and player safety.  

“In the gaming industry, striking the right balance between onboarding convenience and player safety is paramount. Operators must prioritise a seamless registration process that doesn’t compromise on security. We work closely with our partners to ensure this balance by leveraging advanced verification technologies and robust KYC procedures.

“By combining a customer-centric approach with unwavering commitment to compliance, we enable operators to build trust, mitigate risk and create a solid foundation for long-term player relationships.”

Preventing on-site fraud

For igaming operators, the main areas of fraud remains around bonus abuse and account takeovers, both of which can be due to the lack of data registered. The industry is seeing new technologies developing all the time that can process data at increasing pace, and Boon recognises that perhaps there will soon be a technology that can even recognise and intercept fraudulent activity.

Payment services are evolving all the time, and we are now seeing an increasing popularity of technologies like open banking that help operators to quickly identify individuals with little input from the individual themselves. In this sense, almost frictionless affordability checks, at the point of registration, are now being implemented.

As Boon highlights “We are seeing technologies provide a wealth of information at the point of onboarding a customer, but we cannot yet wholeheartedly trust the data without an element of human verification.”

Using technology to tailor an onboarding process can add an element of speed to the process as well as a depth to the data acquired. But this must be equally met with an engagement with the customer for potentially at-risk behaviours. Striking a clean balance between keeping a strong wall of security and a streamlined customer experience will act to inspire customer confidence and ultimately encourage operator loyalty.

“Equals Money has created the perfect balance of data analytics through the latest technological advancements and human interpretation. Our customers can speak to experts through live chat, or via the phone and your account manager will work to ensure a customised service that suits your platform.”

Balancing the onboarding process: Equals Money’s route to success

“Equals Money provides its customers a full range of services to support a balanced onboarding verification process, and through a wide range of payment solutions and fraud prevention. We have experienced teams of experts to provide guidance and international payments in more than 140 currencies.”

To ensure a well-managed onboarding verification process, there are several situations in which operators should be vigilant to remain compliant and uphold a safe gambling platform. Triggers such as customers submitting incomplete or inconsistent information, registering several payment methods, and any discrepancies between an individual’s behaviour and the profile they have submitted, should be immediate red flags.

But for Boon, simply recognising issues isn’t going far enough. A smooth onboarding process will see potential problems flagged early on, even at the point of registration through the creation of a detailed player profile.

“While identifying potential issues at the point of registration is crucial, it’s not enough to ensure a secure and compliant gaming environment. Operators must go beyond initial red flags and establish a comprehensive player profile that allows for ongoing monitoring and risk assessment.

Equals Money’s onboarding process includes the creation of detailed player profiles, enabling our partners to detect and address concerns early on. By adopting a holistic approach to player verification, operators can proactively mitigate risks and maintain a safe, enjoyable gaming experience for their customers.”

In order to do this, Equals Money ensures a comprehensive list of verifications on a trusted platform is completed to confirm a customer is who they say they are.

“We use LexisRisk as a platform that allows to set up journeys for each client type, where all checks are automatically performed. 

“Based upon the information we gather on the customer through the onboarding stage we will apply a Client Risk Assessment score – this will trigger EDD when we the underlying data points indicate a higher risk level at which point additional checks will be performed or information or documentation will be requested.”

With this information, Equals Money creates a profile of a player that forms the basis of all future monitoring “with a key focus on actual behaviour versus expected behaviour.” Not only is this a safety assurance for the player but it helps operators to prevent fraudulent activity on their site.

Providing a positive customer experience throughout the onboarding process is ultimately what will encourage customer trust and loyalty, and an aspect that ultimately highlights the biggest notable difference across operator provision.

For Boon, operators will achieve the best customer success by partnering with an onboarding specialist that can ensure accurate and balanced verification.

“Partnering with an onboarding specialist like Equals Money ensures that player verification is conducted accurately and efficiently, without compromising on either convenience or safety.

“Our expertise in navigating the complexities of global gaming regulations, combined with our cutting-edge verification solutions, empowers operators to focus on what they do best – delivering exceptional gaming experiences to their customers.”

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