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Paynovate spearheads online acquiring for interactive gambling

| By Thomas Caldon | Reading Time: 7 minutes
There’s no shortage of payment providers in the igaming industry, so why do operators still face huge challenges when it comes to compatibility with the full range of card schemes and currencies? Industry-leading Paynovate is on a mission to deliver simple, versatile and trustworthy payment processing, and it’s already responsible for securely transferring over $200m in payments every month.
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Paynovate shines spotlight on online acquisitions

Since 2018, Paynovate has provided payment services for entrepreneurs, small and medium enterprises, and distribution partners. The company specialises in validating payments, making sure the customer’s funds reach the recipient’s account, and Benjamin Beeckmans at Paynovate believes this is a promising niche in the market.

“Paynovate has always been a fantastic company within the retail world and has always done great work for its customers across acquiring, but always in a card-present fashion,” Beeckmans says. “It’s a natural evolution to go into the digital space, especially when it comes to payments, technology and innovation. Building out an online e-commerce acquiring proposition was a natural next step for an ambitious payments company wanting to digitise its proposition further.”

As part of the Loyaltek Group, Paynovate is dedicated to helping people benefit from a better financial system. Founder and CEO Robert Masse first built the issuing company on the back of the success of Giftify, the gift card business, and Paynovate has subsequently become a retail acquiring specialist.

Paynovate strives to process funds in the best way possible – easily, efficiently, and securely – and the platform is now supporting card-not-present (CNP) transactions within the igaming industry in order to achieve this goal.

Paynovate – the frontrunners

Paynovate Acquiring accepts nearly every card scheme. Whether in-store or online, it can process funds from most card networks and supports 153 currencies worldwide. But what sets Paynovate apart from its competitors?

“Paynovate’s value really comes down to its expertise and network,” Beeckmans says. “Paynovate has been built by developers and payments professionals whose focus on technology and product has helped create a business model that offers not just the standard payment products but a technology built in very modern architecture. And that allows them to really focus on what the customer needs in today’s world, rather than their traditional or outdated needs.”

The Brussels-based company is using its industry knowledge and innovative methods to become a disruptive influence in the world of payments, and its ability to harness modern technologies could prove to be the catalyst for success.

“Our technology has been heavily invested in, whereas I think a lot of other businesses build minimum viable products and then they don’t really evolve any further. Paynovate has really focused on evolving the product in a modern architectural way and built it with modern technology.”

The company’s ability to assess and react to modern trends has enabled the business to grow exponentially from an acquiring volume of €2.29m in 2019 to €2.41bn in 2022.

“Paynovate has done a fantastic job of expanding its offering across a number of markets by becoming principal members of Visa, MasterCard and UnionPay, as well as setting up business banking which will satisfy customers across the US and Europe, offering separate SWIFT and multiple currencies,” Beeckmans says.

“Crucially, Paynovate has one unified application programming interface (API) that allows operators to integrate and then expand globally through the same connection they used in one country to begin with. With the click of a button, clients can become available and offer payments to customers in all continents.”

In addition to its tried and trusted API, the team at Paynovate is also monitoring promising new technology which could change the future of payments.

“When it comes to technology trends like cryptocurrencies or blockchain and specific ways to transfer money through stable coins outside of the SWIFT network, other smaller businesses are trialling this technology and Paynovate is open-minded to leveraging this technology once it has been optimised,” Beeckmans continues.

Eliminate fraud with Paynovate

As Paynovate grows market share, and its platform becomes more and more popular, Beeckmans says the business is determined to leave no stone unturned in protecting its customers.

 “Paynovate has invested heavily in bringing in experts from the wider industry to manage fraud prevention to make sure that the customers they’re onboarding are safe and secure,” he explains.

“We’ve worked with businesses like Fraudio, for example, who do a great job for us in mitigating and managing all of our fraud prevention online, and coming from the retail world going into the online industry, it’s a very different setup.”

According to the Nilson Report, payment card fraud losses are projected to reach $49bn worldwide by 2030. As Paynovate turns its attention towards CNP transactions in the igaming industry, the company is acting vigilantly to make sure it doesn’t get caught out.

“Our partners have been building digital fraud prevention tools for 5-10 years now and their nous has allowed us to fast-track our business in a safe manner and remain compliant,” Beeckmans says.

“We’ve been able to go and buy off-the-shelf third-party products which have given us a huge advantage because we have been able to use the same services as the major fintech companies at a much earlier stage of our development. It has allowed us to focus on the areas of the business in which we naturally specialise.”

While the Paynovate team has driven the company’s success over the past five years, it has been happy to delegate its security processes to expert consultants. Similarly, the company has taken a more liberal approach to customers handling their money.

Take control with the Paynovate Portal

Whether operators want Paynovate to take care of their transactions or meticulously analyse the movement of their money, Paynovate gives them the freedom to manage their business finances for better visibility.

MyPaynovate is Paynovate’s specialised online management system, allowing customers to keep up to date with their acquiring at a glance. It offers full transaction histories and a link to support.

“We offer real-time reconciliation and reporting and allow customers to enter the portal and have full access to their funds,” Beeckmans says. “They can see what funds have been deployed and settled in those accounts in real time and can manage and control their own security parameters. This gives them more flexibility over the value of payments that are being made on a daily basis.”

Paynovate takes a calculated risk by allowing its clients to take the reins, giving them freedom within the safe confines of the portal.

“Lots of other platforms don’t allow you to have that much flexibility and self-control over these particular security parameters. Usually, you need to ask for internal help. That obviously then goes into a system, it takes a couple of days to be processed and that equates to a terrible customer journey.”

By contrast, Beeckmans explains, Paynovate pledges to process payments instantly and seamlessly, two vitally important features for customers.

“What we’ve done with this portal is put the customer at the front of this process and ask exactly what they need. And we all know what they need: instant gratification. Stopping delays and giving them a system that allows them to manage funds effectively and efficiently is the core value of that system. It’s real-time reconciliation with instant gratification.”

Paynovate optimises the checkout process

At the heart of Paynovate’s product offering is efficiency. It’s more important than ever that operators and players have payments processed and approved as quickly as possible, and Paynovate has employed multiple acquirers to make sure its clients enjoy a smooth ride.

“For both retail and online, these different acquirers are effectively and intelligently rerouting transactions to ensure that we’re getting high acceptance rates. So when it comes to the checkout process, we can focus on some frontend features which affect UX and UI.

“We spend a lot of time optimising the customer journey. That is very important, but none of that matters if the engine of the car doesn’t work and it’s not getting you around the track. That’s why we’ve invested in picking the right acquiring banking partners that are helping to process these payments based on the settings and parameters we’ve built into the system.”

Not only does Paynovate work to make sure both ‘car’ and ‘driver’ are functioning together, it is striving to utilise modern technology to provide the fastest journey around the track.

“We aspire to have artificial intelligence and machine learning technology built into the platform to allow those transactions to be automated rather than having to manually go in and calculate the reasons why a payment was not accepted.

“We can then adjust our settings with today’s technology like ChatGPT, when used in the world of payments orchestration, to actually calculate more of an effective payment conversion and that is something that we will build in the future.”

Paynovate’s ambition has been the driving force behind its growth. The company processed 6.2 million acquiring transactions in 2022, up from 4.9 million in the previous year. In the short term, however, Paynovate is determined to provide even more value to its existing customers.

“For now, we’re very much orchestrating payments like a conductor and its orchestra ourselves. And that takes a lot of time and effort.

“However, it’s something that we’re very passionate about because we want to ensure that we’re converting payments for our customers. If we convert for them, we make the revenue. So it’s very much within our business interests.”

As a business proposition, Paynovate is only too happy to make adaptations to meet the demands of its customers. When it comes to regulation, Paynovate is in full support and aims to arm its customers with everything they need to stay compliant.

Compliance with Paynovate

The varying igaming and gambling regulations across different jurisdictions have become an industry-wide challenge for operators and payment platform providers alike. To assist clients, Paynovate has taken a proactive approach towards regulation and achieving compliance across the board.

We’re regulated by the National Bank of Belgium,” Beeckmans says. “We’re open-minded to a wide range of laws and licences related to compliance. As a diligent financial institution, we’ve also obtained an FCA licence in the UK.

“When it comes to licensing, we want to be part of the process and build out all necessary frameworks and embrace all policies and practise them. We’re then audited on those policies by the regulators on a quarterly basis.”

In 2022, global fines for failing to prevent money laundering and other financial crime surged by 50%. More than ever before, operators and payment platforms are encouraged to adhere to anti-money laundering, KYC, data privacy and markets in financial instruments directive regulations.

“The audits allow us to stay abreast of the global landscape, and increasingly, regulations feel like helpful tools rather than restrictions. We also utilise third-party providers who give us access to a wider range of currencies and can sometimes piggyback off their compliance and regulatory licences.

“The payments industry is a small world, so when it comes to compliance and licensing, you’re connected throughout the whole process to all of the providers you work with, and we like to work with all partners as a team to make sure we are compliant.”

Paynovate plans for era of expansion

Not satisfied with simply consolidating its position as a compliant provider in its current markets, Paynovate is keen to prosper overseas.

In addition to its acquiring proposition, Paynovate has partnered with LoyalPay to provide reliable Client to Authenticator Protocol (CTAP) payment terminals around Europe, and by virtue of its issuing agreements with Visa and Mastercard, manages over one million cards used in over 150 countries.

“We want to remain masters in Europe, but effectively we are looking to expand into other areas like Asia, potentially Latin America and South America. There are also discussions around a proposition in Africa, but with any of these markets, a great deal of work needs to go in before we can launch.

“We’ll need to find local partners and conduct thorough market research to make sure our offering would be attractive to consumers. We’re talking about end users here, not the merchants who are actually purchasing the products from us. Armed with this more localised strategy, we’ll be expanding into these international markets outside Europe through 2023 and 2024.”

With a strategy that offers extra security, freedom and localised payments for ammunition, Paynovate has the power to re-energise igaming payments with its new proposition.

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