The Slotegrator executive has put together a summary of the most popular payment methods in each market for online casinos and sportsbooks to provide their players with the ones they need. This new analytical article details popular payment methods in markets around the world, from Europe to Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia.
Before being able to bet €10 on the 10/1 underdog or place their roulette bets, players have a crucial step to take: their first deposit. Online casino and sportsbook operators need to know the payment landscape like the back of their hand in order to offer players from different regions the payment methods they need.
Credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard are known to be accepted worldwide, allowing users everywhere to make payments with a card, phone or even a watch. But in the iGaming industry, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.
Online casino and sportsbook operators who believe that taking over payments from a few credit card giants means smooth sailing for their platform will find themselves in very choppy waters. There are many markets where, due to regulations or a lack of access to financial products, credit cards are not players’ first choice, or even an option.
Gambling is often classified as a high-risk industry due to concerns over links to organized crime, money laundering and terrorist financing. Credit card issuers use four-digit Merchant Category Codes (MCCs) to identify the industry to which the merchant belongs. The MCC for private gaming operations—separate from government-run ones—is 7995. If a credit card holder in a gambling-prohibited region attempts to access a gaming site, the credit recognizes the MCC code 7995 and blocks the payment. .
Besides jurisdictions where gambling is prohibited, players may be prevented from making deposits with their card by strict regulations, an unequal financial system or the simple fact that they do not have an official bank account. Fortunately, there are a range of other services players can use, such as:
- Bank or telegraphic transfers
- Instant transfers
- Payment gateways
- Electronic wallets
To optimize their payment processing, online casino and sports betting operators need to familiarize themselves with the preferred payment methods in their operating markets.
The most popular payment methods in Europe are Visa and Mastercard, but different regions have their own local alternatives, especially in jurisdictions that prohibit the use of credit cards for gambling transactions.
In Germany, for example, regulations prohibit the use of credit cards for online gambling and betting. Instead, German players use Sofort, the leading payment provider in the German market. Sofort offers secure transactions with minimal steps and is also popular in Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands.
With nearly 100% of its 67 million citizens using the internet, the UK is one of the largest e-commerce markets in Europe. And due in part to a cultural love for betting on football and other sports, the country has a huge gambling market. According to a 2021 report by the UK Gambling Commission, participation in online gambling in the country has risen to almost 18% (excluding those who only play the national lottery ).
Due to regulations introduced to combat problem gambling, as of April 2020 the use of credit cards for gambling payments has been banned in the country. UK players commonly use their debit cards, services like PayPal or open banking, a rapidly developing financial technology that uses APIs and open source technology to increase security and transparency.
Multibanco interbank network dominates the Portuguese payment space, with more than 12,700 ATMs nationwide from 27 banks participating in the network. Multibanco’s online payment service, MB Net, guarantees security by generating a virtual credit card that keeps the details of the real card secret from the seller. Other popular payment methods in the country include card payments, PayPal, and various payment systems, as well as open banking, direct debits, and wire transfers.
- Open bank
Although credit cards are the option of choice in the UK and the rest of Europe, they are far from the most popular choice in Latin America.
According to a 2020 MasterCard report, only 55% of Latin American adults have a bank account and only 19% have a credit card. Internet users across the region prefer to make online payments by bank transfer. When paying, he is either redirected to his bank’s payment page, or chooses his bank from the list of providers or sellers of goods. In most cases, payment authorization happens instantly.
Payment processors are doubly important in some Latin American countries, as banks and other financial institutions have long been suspicious of the gambling industry and refuse to process transactions for sportsbooks and casinos.
The most popular local payment system in Brazil is Boleto Bancário, an official payment system regulated by the Central Bank of Brazil. The user can pay for the service through Boleto Bancário in cash at any bank branch or at an approved supplier. Players can also make payments using any of the 48,000 ATMs across the country, through mobile or online banking. Similar systems are popular in other Latin American countries, such as Mexico.
- Bank transfers
- Boleto Bancario
Online gambling is booming in India, where 73% of respondents to a 2021 YouGov survey said they preferred to gamble online rather than in a physical casino.
Fortunately, Indian players have an integrated national network of financial institutions to rely on. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) provides the infrastructure for the country’s banking system. The Unified Payment Interface (UPI) integrates multiple bank accounts and features into a single mobile app; Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) application uses UPI for fast and easy transactions.
The most popular payment method in India is PhonePe, an application that allows users to make fast and secure payments using BHIM UPI, credit cards, debit cards or e-wallets. Equally popular in India is PayTM, which claims around 25 million registered users. Besides e-commerce, the service covers financial transactions using e-wallets and mobile payments.
Like the rest of the continent’s economic development, iGaming markets in Africa are developing in their own way.
Formal bank accounts are rare in Africa, and credit cards even more so. Instead, African players are using mobile banking, a trend that is growing at a faster rate across the continent than the global average.
For example, M-pesa, a method of transferring money using a mobile phone, is widely used in Kenya, where 58% of the adult population has a mobile account. M-Pesa is also common in neighboring Tanzania, and in both countries the service is the preferred option for sports bettors.
The booming sports betting market in Nigeria is facilitated by the multiple payment gateways in the country.
Interswitch, a Lagos-based payment processor, connects a number of Nigerian banks. GTBank, one of Nigeria’s leading banks, has created the GTPay payment gateway to enable seamless payments for debit cards issued by banks that participate in the Interswitch network.
Flutterwave’s RAVE is one of the fastest growing gateways in the country. The online payment solution makes collecting online payments for businesses and individuals simple, safe and secure for their customers.
Interac is easily one of the most popular payment systems in Canada. Interac was founded in 1984 and launched its wire transfer service in 1996. The service’s long history has given it plenty of time to establish itself, and its nationwide coverage has brought nearly 60% of the approximately 40 million of the country to use the service. . PayPal, by comparison, has just over 6 million Canadian users. The solution provider Gigadat, which uses the Interac system, is one of the most used payment methods for online casinos in the country.
South East Asia
Asia is home to some of the largest economies in the world and the most coveted gaming markets.
E-wallets are the most common choice for online casino players and sports bettors in the region, followed by credit cards, debit cards and bank transfers. Founded in 2003, payment processor 2C2P has become one of the largest payment systems in Asia, in part because it even accepts payments from customers without a credit card.
Thaiepay provides payment solutions for e-commerce in Thailand, allowing operators to accept payments by Visa, MasterCard and American Express cards. PaysBuy, another leading processor in the country, makes it easy to make and accept payments online. In principle, PaysBuy is similar to PayPal; sellers can accept payment by Visa, MasterCard or from local bank accounts on their websites. Cryptocurrency payments are also very common in Southeast Asia.
The blockchain revolution has been underway for a long time. Lured by anonymity and decentralization, players increasingly expect to make payments using cryptocurrencies – in fact, some online casinos transact exclusively in crypto. More and more players expect to make payments in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Litecoin.
Online casinos and sportsbooks must consider both local regulations and the resources available to players when entering a new market. If your platform doesn’t support a player’s preferred method of making deposits and withdrawals, there’s nothing stopping them from ditching your platform for one that meets their needs.
Slotegrator’s Moneygrator The solution integrates a range of different payment methods into your online casino or sportsbook, ensuring you are giving players the betting experience they are looking for. Get in touch to learn more about integrating Moneygrator into your platform today.