As planning for Betting on Sports 2018 enters the final furlong, we sat down with ECOMMPAY Head of UK/Western Europe Paul Marcantonio, who made an impassioned plea for customisable payment solutions, targeted proprietary technologies, and an individual approach to client requirements.
SBC: To begin, could you please describe your company in a few words?
PM: To briefly summarise, ECOMMPAY is a technological company, which enables businesses, such as sports betting operators, to accept online payments from customers anywhere in the world, as well as to payout winnings.
Now, payment preferences vary, so we make sure that we’re up to speed on consumer trends and build bespoke, comprehensive payment portfolios, featuring both traditional payment systems, such as credit and debit cards, and a selection of alternative methods, such as online banking, e-Wallets, and more.
SBC: What makes you different from other companies working in the same space?
PM: My answer to this is twofold. We prioritise user experience – not just for the player, mind you, but for everyone who engages with our payment platform in any way. The player enjoys a seamless, streamlined customer journey; the operations team has access to an intuitive back office; and the client can view crucial information and create analytical reports in a few simple clicks. Our recently updated payment gateway, GATE2025, is a perfect example.
Another aspect that differentiates us from our competitors is customisation. We enable customisation every step of the way – from engineering the customer journey, to configuring security settings, to building the perfect payments portfolio for entering new markets, we’ve got you covered. This, paired with our in-house expertise – we’ve got a dedicated risk department and more than 150 developers – gives us a significant competitive edge.
SBC: Are there any payments-related features that are especially relevant to sports betting operators?
PM: Of course! Each industry is unique and has its own payments requirements. In fact, ECOMMPAY was one of the first payment service providers to recognise that an individual approach to payments would ensure that merchants could capitalise on the areas missed by a standard, one-size-fits-all solution. Our success with iGaming operators stems from two main products: risk management and payment routing.
ECOMMPAY’s approach to risk management, which involves pairing automated security solutions with the human factor, was recently covered by this very publication, so I’ll give preference to the latter.
Payment routing is, essentially, a tool that helps merchants manage transaction flows. The essence of routing is in the filters, which organise transactions in the patterns required. For example, the most common filter to consider is currency. When a player makes a deposit in EUR, the payment is routed to a MID operating in EUR rather than GBP.
This saves the operator currency conversion costs. GATE2025 enables more than 20 filters, including currency, country, device, payment method, transaction amount, etc. These filters can be combined to match operator specifications, which ensures higher conversion.
Another feature associated with payment routing is cascading. Operators are not often aware of this solution, but it’s actually engineered to boost payout operations. Simply put, if one provider is not able to conduct a payout, the request is cascaded to another, so that the payout still occurs and the player receives the requested funds. This feature ensures business continuity and maintains player satisfaction.
SBC: What are some of the hot topics in both the payments and sports betting industries? Do they intersect?
PM: I’d say that both industries are focused on similar topics: enhancing customer experience, safeguarding security, and facilitating global expansion. I’ve covered ECOMMPAY’s approach to the first two in previous articles, but the latter is another focal point of our service.
In order to succeed in any given market, businesses must do their research. Legal frameworks, regulatory requirements, consumer trends – everything must be accounted for. At ECOMMPAY, we invest a lot of time and effort into paving the way for our clients to enter new markets.
Take Asia-Pacific, for instance. Earlier this year, my colleague Alexander Pestana undertook an enormous volume of research, releasing a whitepaper dedicated to consumer trends in the region. Many of our clients responded immediately, requesting additional products to facilitate their entry and/or to cement their presence on the regional markets.
It is my hope that my own research and whitepaper, released just this week, will have the same effect for existing and prospective clients interested in exploring the markets of Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan.
SBC: And, finally, what are you hoping to get out of this year’s Betting on Sports?
PM: On a personal level, I’m looking forward to reconnecting with friends and peers from across the industry, not to mention networking among some of the biggest names in the betting and gaming community. I’m hoping I have the chance to discuss innovation within our respective industries, offer solutions on how to best solve operator pain points, and share predictions for the future.
In terms of where I want to see ECOMMPAY by the end of Betting on Sports – I’d like us to be recognised as a thought leader. It’s important that visitors to the event see us not only as payment providers, but rather as payment innovators with a strong technological foundation.
We will be presenting GATE2025, our comprehensive suite of security solutions, our approach to customisation, and what we can offer to clients looking to expand into new territories. These are just the initial talking points – who knows where the conversation will take us!