During the webinar Succeeding in LatAm: Understanding the gaming payments landscape, held on 17 January, organized by the iGaming Business (iGB) and OKTO digital payment solutions, discussions centered around some of the challenges faced, in particular, how to ensure simplified, user-friendly payment methods for customers.

Itamar Pereira, a member of the Technical Working Group of the World Lottery Association (WLA) Security and Risk Management Committee (SRMC), and Consultant for the CEO at CAIXA Loteria, Brazil, was one of the four panelists.

Brazil’s diversity requires multiple payment options

Setting the scene in a broader context, Itamar Pereira noted that the national financial system in Brazil was well structured and regulated by the Brazilian Central Bank (BCB). He cited figures from 2020 that showed over 650 institutions were regulated, comprised of banks, fintech, and companies that deal with loans.

With regard to consumer habits and payments in general, he noted that for many customers, preferred payment at retail stores, such as the pharmacy or supermarkets etc., was by: 1) cash, 2) pix instant payment – using a smartphone, via a simple, instant transaction from one bank account to another, 3) debit card and finally 4) credit card.

Innovating but keeping it simple

In terms of what was most important to players when developing user-friendly solutions, Pereira explained that there was a linked chain of factors, such as the means of payment, integrity of the operation to ensure security and responsible gaming; the multiplicity of channels of distribution and how these channels are linked together; multiplicity of products and how to deal with the markets and communication to customers.

He further stressed the need to pursue the question of innovation, modernization, and make it a simple experience for customers.

On the question of how to drive adoption by customers of the different payment methods, such as the digital wallet, Pereira said that in Brazil it was not so much influenced by an age factor, rather, the level of bankarization – in other words the access to and use of financial services generally and banking services particularly – of the people, and the level of flexibility of means of payment that the banks, financial institutions and fintech could offer to consumers.

Given the high percent of smartphone users in Brazil, who carry out transactions on apps or online, innovation in payment methods is directly linked with the level of bankarization and to fintech rather than the traditional banks.

Pereira concluded that in his view, there was no single recipe for achieving successful payment systems for gaming in Brazil. Given the size of the country and diversity of the population, no single model was ready for adoption. Instead, it required understanding consumer trends and how people deal with technology and innovation nationwide, and to try to use all the new solutions.

More about the panel

Moderated by Robin Harrison-Millan from iGB, the other panelists included Galina Bineva, Commercial Director at OKTO, who talked about the importance of understanding customers within different regions of a country, when establishing payment options for different gaming products. Gonzalo Perez, CEO at Apuesta Total, gave updates on the retail and gaming trends in Peru, and Patricia Lalanda, Partner at Loyra, discussed her experience in Chile, highlighting the types of consumer, corporate and fiscal regulation that gaming operators may need to consider when establishing gaming payment systems.