A major challenge for gaming companies is how to comply with the latest regulations, with minimal operational impact. New HMRC regulations unveiled in December last year, mean that all businesses offering online gaming to UK customers need to always be able to establish whether a customer is UK-based or not.
Any company offering remote gaming to someone who usually lives in the UK, will now be liable to one or more of the relevant General Betting Duty (GBD), Pool Betting Duty (PBD) and Remote Gaming Duty (RGD) taxes.
But bearing in mind that the main cause of failed customer sign-ups across the gaming industry is the length of time and margin for error that occurs during player verification, efficient identification is essential to maximising on-boarding rates, as well as the level of trust in customer transactions. Gaming companies not only need to make sure sign-up processes include the required verification to help underpin compliance, but also ensure that it does not deter the customer – either by failing to verify their identity, or by taking too long.
Improving identity checking to enable more valid players get through quicker, offsetting the cost of fraud and providing seamless on-boarding are all critical to improving profit margins, retaining customers and managing the costs of the new point of consumption tax, which is driving operating costs up.
Investment in these areas is likely to be worth every penny, as over-onerous identity checks and instances of fraud will quickly undermine platforms’ reputations among the relatively close-knit gaming community. Among the key areas of focus for offsetting on-boarding costs will be better management of chargebacks to credit cards, which continues to be a real bug-bear for many providers.
But it’s a critical area where cost and efficiency savings can be quickly found – if the right checks be in place.
Up-front solutions linking ownership of a bank account or credit card to an individual helps to minimise payment fraud, reduce costs and improve the efficiency of on-boarding through reducing the reliance on more manual verification methods. It also means more customers can get playing quicker – as well as helping with fast and secure winnings pay-outs, which often underpin customer loyalty.