Recent data shows that in the UK, gambling revenues reached £15.1 billion in the year to March 2023, signifying a significant growth spurt, particularly in online slot machines. But despite the sector’s popularity, the industry is also contending with an increasingly tough regulatory environment. Many virtual betting and gaming businesses face challenges in getting approved for payment solutions.
In this article, we delve into the best payment gateway options for gambling businesses. I’ve researched this sector extensively, assessing the various high risk specialists that can process payments against key metrics.
Why Do Online Gambling Businesses Require A High Risk Merchant Account?
Online gambling businesses require high-risk merchant accounts due to the inherent risks associated with their industry. For this reason, there’s almost zero chance of getting accepted by a high street bank, you’ll need a company focussed on this sector. Here are the key reasons why:
- Regulatory Challenges: Online gambling operates in a complex regulatory environment. Different countries and regions have varying laws and restrictions on gambling, making compliance a complicated affair. This regulatory uncertainty increases the risk profile for payment processors and banks.
- High Chargeback Rates: The gambling sector is prone to high chargeback rates. Players may dispute charges if they lose bets or experience buyer’s remorse, leading to a higher likelihood of chargebacks compared to other industries.
- Fraud Risks: Online gambling platforms are attractive targets for various fraudulent activities, including identity theft, bonus abuse, and money laundering. The digital and anonymous nature of transactions adds to the risk.
- Variable Transaction Volumes: The volumes of transactions in online gambling can vary significantly and rapidly, influenced by events like big sporting events or jackpot draws. Such fluctuations in transaction volumes can pose a risk for payment processors.
- Legal and Financial Liability: Given the amount of money transacted and the potential for illegal activities, there’s a higher legal and financial liability associated with online gambling. Payment processors need to have robust systems in place to monitor and report suspicious activities as part of their compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) regulations.
What are the Best Payment Gateways for Gambling & iGaming Businesses?
The best payment gateways and merchant accounts for gambling platforms are offered by Total Processing, Mollie, XacePay, Adyen, and Payu. Each of these gateways offers unique features and benefits, catering to different user preferences and business requirements.
Total Processing: Overall Best Gambling Payment Gateway
Total Processing are a superb, specialist high risk payment processor based in the UK but with a global reach. They are a go-to choice for gaming businesses with an annual turnover of at least £500,000, and can offer an unparalleled range of payment options, including over 190 alternative payment methods. They can help you release customer winnings fast, process funds and ensure everything’s done safely and securely.
Total Processing provides gambling operators with powerful analytics and dashboard functionalities, enabling them to effectively monitor and reconcile transactions. They also offer a comprehensive suite of fraud management tools and are fully PCI DSS compliant. Their system is adept at tackling common online gambling challenges such as bonus abuse, player collusion, and chargebacks, ensuring a secure transaction environment.
Customization and integration are other areas where Total Processing excels. They offer customizable payment pages and iFrames, allowing gambling operators to maintain their brand’s look and feel across payment processes.
Finally, Total Processing is finely tuned for the needs of gambling operators. They provide specific features that streamline payment processing, support region-specific payment methods, and manage merchant accounts effectively. This includes sophisticated transaction routing, currency conversion, and the ability to manage multiple gambling sites or brands.
Dutch payments giant Mollie is a major contender to the likes of Stripe, and has now been granted a payment institution licence in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). With 130,000 customers, Mollie does have more flexible regulations around gambling than many other mainstram providers, but you’ll need to apply to know whether they’ll accept you. If they do, their commitment to providing straightforward and transparent services, without hidden fees, positions Mollie as a reliable choice for online gambling platforms seeking hassle-free payment processing solutions.
They do work with gambling companies but will refuse anything associated with: “Illegal gambling, Games of chance for which the provider does not have the correct permit, Binary options or Contracts for Difference, Penny auctions.”
Mollie’s Trustpilot profile demonstrates superb customer service, particularly in the online payment sector. With a total of 6,461 reviews, they hold an excellent TrustScore of 4.5 out of 5. A significant majority of their reviews, 77%, are 5-star, highlighting the high level of satisfaction among their users.
XacePay was formed in 2020 to specifically help gaming companies gain better access to banking. Three years later, they’re now a multi-licenced, global payment account provider offering multicurrency and multiple banking rails to thousands of gaming firms. While they can’t handle end to end transactions themselves, they offer merchant accounts directly and can faciliate the rest of their process via their partners.
Their expertise in handling the unique challenges of the online gambling sector, including regulatory compliance and risk management, makes them a strong contender for operators in this space.
Xace’s Trustpilot profile, with a TrustScore of 3.5 out of 5, is based on a very limited number of reviews – just 2 in total – which leads to an “Average” rating.
Adyen offers a comprehensive payment solution that serves a wide range of industries, including online gambling. Their platform is known for its flexibility, scalability, and ability to handle a vast array of payment methods. Adyen’s global reach and advanced technology infrastructure make it a top choice for online gambling operators looking for a reliable and versatile payment gateway. Their emphasis on innovation and customer experience ensures that they remain at the forefront of payment processing in the iGaming sector.
Adyen’s Trustpilot profile reveals a challenging customer perception, as reflected in their low TrustScore of 1.5 out of 5, based on 211 total reviews. The majority of their reviews, 82%, are 1-star, indicating significant customer dissatisfaction.
PayU is another specialist payment processor for online gambling, owing to its robust global presence and comprehensive payment solutions. Experts in emerging markets, PayU provides a secure and efficient payment platform tailored to the unique needs of the iGaming industry. Their ability to handle a variety of payment methods, including those specific to certain regions, makes them a preferred choice for online gambling operators seeking to offer a seamless payment experience to a global audience.
Their one star Trustpilot rating, however, does suggest there are some potential drawbacks here.
How Can Gambling Websites Accept Online Payments?
Gambling websites can accept online payments by implementing a secure and efficient payment system that caters to the unique needs of their industry. Here are the key steps and considerations involved in setting up such a system
(1) Obtain a High-Risk Merchant Account for Gaming Card Processing
This type of account is specifically designed for businesses in the gambling sector, addressing the unique challenges of higher chargeback risks and regulatory scrutiny. Choosing a provider experienced in high-risk industries to ensure tailored services and support.
(2) Choose a Reliable Gambling Payment Gateway
Reliability is key in a high volume industry where large amounts of money change hands. It should be capable of handling high-volume, secure transactions. Key features include robust fraud protection, consistent uptime, and seamless integration with the website’s platform. This step is vital for maintaining transactional integrity and user trust.
(3) Offer Diverse Payment Methods Appropriate for Gambling Merchant Accounts
For online gambling merchant accounts, it’s important to offer a variety of payment methods. This approach caters to a broader customer base and accommodates preferences across different regions. (e.g., Visa, MasterCard), e-wallets (e.g., PayPal, Skrill), bank transfers, prepaid cards (e.g., Paysafecard), mobile payments (e.g., Boku), cryptocurrencies (e.g., Bitcoin, Ethereum).
(4) Ensure Compliance with Gambling Regulations
Compliance is key in the online gambling sector. Adhering to all relevant regulations, including AML laws and KYC regulations, is imperative. The payment system should support necessary compliance checks such as age verification, ensuring the business operates within legal boundaries.
How to Find the Right Merchant Account for Your Online Casino & Betting Business
Finding the right merchant account for your online casino and betting business involves several key steps. These steps ensure that you select a merchant account provider that not only understands the unique challenges of the online gambling industry but also offers the necessary features and support to facilitate smooth and secure transactions. Here’s how to approach this process:
- Evaluate Security Measures: Look for strong security features like fraud prevention and data encryption. It’s crucial to keep your transactions and customer data safe.
- International and Multi-Currency Support: If your casino attracts players from different countries, make sure the merchant account can handle multiple currencies and international payments.
- Wide Range of Payment Methods: Your players will appreciate having various payment options. Ensure the account supports cards, e-wallets, bank transfers, and maybe even cryptocurrencies.
- Compliance and Regulation: The provider should help you stay compliant with laws like anti-money laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations.
- Understand the Fees: Read the fine print on all fees involved, like transaction charges and monthly fees. Watch out for hidden costs.
- Check Reviews and Testimonials: See what other businesses say about the provider. Good customer feedback is a positive sign.
- User Interface and Support Quality: Test how easy it is to use their system. Also, good customer support is essential, especially if issues arise.
- Negotiate and Ask Questions: Don’t be shy to negotiate terms. Ask anything you need to know to ensure their service fits your business perfectly.
Remember, the right merchant account is one that fits your business’s unique needs, keeps your transactions secure, and offers your players convenient payment options.
FAQs on Payment Gateways for Online Gambling & iGaming
How can I enhance payment security in my iGaming platform?
It’s crucial to understand the security features they offer, such as PCI DSS compliance, encryption methods, fraud detection systems, and risk management protocols.
What features are essential for handling peak betting traffic in online gambling?
For high-volume transactions during peak betting times in the online gambling sector, focus on gateways offering high transaction throughput, low latency, and scalable solutions to ensure smooth and efficient processing.
What should I consider for quick payouts in online gambling?
Opt for payment gateways that support rapid fund clearance, efficient withdrawal processes, and have strong banking relationships for expedited payouts.
Can payment gateways provide support for responsible gambling initiatives?
Yes, the best payment gateways do support responsible gambling, such as transaction limit controls, self-exclusion mechanisms, and alerts for unusual player behaviour, which are essential for maintaining a responsible gaming environment.
How can a payment gateway assist in adapting to emerging trends in the iGaming industry?
Select a payment gateway that is forward-thinking and adaptable to emerging trends, such as cryptocurrency transactions or new payment technologies, to ensure your iGaming platform remains competitive and relevant.
How do payment gateways cater to VIP players in the iGaming industry?
The best payment gateways offer special features or higher transaction limits for VIP players.