Visa and Mastercard credit cards are accepted worldwide, allowing users to pay for purchases by card, phone, or even by watch. But in the iGaming sector, it is not a universal solution.
Online casino operators who think that by supporting payments from several major credit card providers they will stay afloat are wrong. There are enough markets where, due to lack of regulation or problems with access to financial products, credit cards are not the first choice of players, and sometimes there is no such option at all.
Gambling is often classified as a high-risk industry as it is associated with organized crime, money laundering and terrorist financing.Credit card issuers use four-digit Merchant Category Codes to identify the merchant’s line of business. The MCC of private gambling operators (and it is different from that of public ones) is 7995. If a credit card holder in a region where gambling is prohibited tries to enter a gambling platform, the credit card provider will recognize the code 7995 and block this payment. Apart from jurisdictions where gambling is prohibited, players can be deterred by strict regulation, an imperfect financial system, or the simple fact of not having a formal bank account. Fortunately, there are a number of other services that are available to players:
The most popular payment methods in Europe are Visa and Mastercard, but different regions offer their own local alternatives, namely jurisdictions that prohibit the use of credit cards for gambling transactions.
In Germany, for example, regulation prohibits the use of credit cards for the purposes of online gambling and betting. Instead, German players use products from Sofort, the leading provider of payment systems in the German market. Sofort offers secure transactions with a minimum of steps. It is also popular in Austria, Belgium and Holland.
Nearly 100% of the UK’s 67 million people use the internet. This is one of the largest e-commerce markets in Europe. And because of the incredible love for betting on football and other sports, the country has also become a huge gambling market. According to the UKGC report from 2021, the participation rate in online gambling in the country has risen to almost 18% (the exception is those who played only in the national lottery). Due to regulation created to combat problem gambling, the use of credit cards to pay for games was banned in the country in April 2020. UK players typically use their debit cards, such as PayPal or Open Banking, a fast-growing technology that uses APIs and open source to increase security and transparency.
Multibanco’s interbank network dominates the Portuguese market with over 12,700 ATMs from 27 banks across the country. Multibanco’s online payment service, MB Net, guarantees security with virtual credit cards, which keep the details of the real card secret from the merchant. Other popular payment methods in the country include card, PayPal and various payment systems, as well as open banking, direct debit and bank transfers.
The two most popular payment methods on the continent are Skrill and Neosurf. In both cases, third parties do not have access to users’ personal data.
While credit cards are a permanent option in the UK and the rest of Europe, it is far from being the most popular choice in Latin America.
According to 2020 MasterCard reports, only 55% of Latin Americans adults have a bank account, and only 19% have credit cards. When people making a payment, they are either redirected to their bank’s transaction page or select their bank from a list of service providers or merchants of goods. Internet users prefer online payments over bank transfers. In most of the cases, payment authorization occurs instantly.
Payment systems are more important in some Latin American countries: banks and other financial institutions have long mistrusted the gambling industry and refuse transactions for casinos and sportsbooks.
An official system regulated by the Central Bank of Brazil, the most popular local supplier in Brazil is Boleto Bancário. All users can easily pay through Boleto Bancário in cash at any branch or authorized supplier.
Online gambling is very popular in India, where 73% of the population surveyed by YouGov in 2021 they prefer to gamble online then land-based establishments.
Indian casino players have an integrated national network of financial institutions to help. The Unified Payment Interface (UPI) integrates many bank accounts and The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) provides the infrastructure for the country’s banking system. The Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app uses UPI for fast and simple transactions.
PhonePe is the most popular payment method in India, an application that allows users to make fast and secure payments using BHIM UPI, credit and debit cards or e-wallets. One more popular application in the country is PayTM, which claims 25 million registered users and services cover financial transfers using e-wallets and mobile payments.
Credit cards and official bank accounts are rare in Africa. Instead of it, African players usually are using mobile banking, a trend that is growing faster on the continent than worldwide.
Like the entire economy of the continent, the iGaming sector in Africa is developing in its own way.
In neighboring Tanzania M-Pesa is also popular , there is frequent choice for sports bettors in both countries. Let’s say, M-pesa is a method of transferring money using a mobile phone, which is widespread in Kenya, where 58% of the adult population has a mobile account.
Lagos supplier Interswitch brings together several Nigerian banks. One of Nigeria’s leading banks is GTBank, has created the GTPay payment system to enable fast payments to debit cards issued by banks in the Interswitch network.
Nigeria’s betting market is facilitated by the presence of several payment gateways in the country.
The online payment solution makes it easy for people and companies to collect online transfers, and also makes it safe for customers. RAVE by Flutterwave is one of the fastest growing systems in the country.
Interac was created in 1984 and launched its first wire transfer service in 1996. In Canada Interac is one of the most popular payment systems. History of the company has given it enough time to develop and reach coverage in almost 60% of the country (about 40 million people use this service).
PayPal has only about 6 million Canadian users. Solution provider Gigadat, which uses the Interac system, is one of the most popular and widely used payment methods for online casinos in the country.
Asia is the region of the largest economies and the most desirable gambling markets.
E-wallets are the most common choice for online casino players and sports bettors in the region, followed by debit and credit cards and bank transfers. Established in 2003, the 2C2P payment system provider has become one of the largest in Asia, because in part to the fact it accepts payments even from users who do not have a credit card.
PaysBuy is another leading provider in the country, making online payments much easier. PaysBuy is very similar to PayPal in that merchants can accept payments on the websites using Visa, MasterCard, or local bank accounts. Thaiepay provides payment solutions for e-commerce in Thailand, allowing operators to accept any payment by MasterCard, Visa, and American Express. In South-East Asia cryptocurrency is also very popular .