Within the framework of SBC Digital India, experts have discussed the payments sector in India, the most popular deposit methods, and solutions that every operator should have to attract customers.
India has 75-80% of mobile phone penetration, which means great opportunities in terms of payments for the gambling vertical. The conference speakers have provided a detailed overview of the most influential payment trends that are worth considering by both local and international operators.
Indian consumers seek convenience and trust
The launch of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) became the main news for the finance industry in India. This instant payment system is extremely popular among the country’s citizens due to its convenience. Vasudha Bachchan, an Indian Content Developer at Leadstar Media, has commented on this, saying that India has made a big positive step in the payments sector by introducing UPI. This switch to digital platforms was mostly caused by demonetization in 2016 and the COVID-19 pandemic. UPI has become a favorite payment option for Indian people because it is very efficient when it comes to user experience.
Phil Neal, Vice President of Strategy and Partnership at Rupee Payments, has explained that an Indian consumer wants convenience, that is why this system is leading nowadays. It combines both security and fast payments, which significantly simplifies the process of paying for something or depositing. The Unified Payments Interface doesn’t require additional information from users during a transaction: they don’t provide a password, card details, or the CVV number. It is based on the KYC model and is taking over in the market.
Continuing the topic, the experts have discussed UPI’s main competitors. One of them is WhatsApp, which is the most used application in India (more than 400 million users). However, UPI, being extremely competitive, began to drive out WhatsApp as a payment provider. Although it still has the potential to be a leader in the market, it has alert because of its main competitor.
Cash remains another widespread payment option in the country, which doesn’t fade with time. It is still the number one payment method for Indians. As for digital currency, experts have said that India is only adapting to this, and it isn’t frequently used by its citizens. Skrill and Neteller were popular among gamblers when UPI wasn’t an option.
What payment options should operators implement?
Considering payment methods, which are important to implement, the speakers have highlighted aspects that are crucial for Indian customers. Phil Neal has noted that trust between a merchant and payment provider is a very big thing in India. This opinion is shared by Lee Pelling, SVP Sales at Inpay. He has said that if a player doesn’t trust a payment method, he or she won’t use it. At the same time, it is equally important for operators to trust their partners who provide such services. Gambling businesses should make sure that they have a payment partner to trust because many financial companies have ups and downs in India. The next crucial aspect is players’ security, which should be first and must.
The experts have also provided several valuable recommendations for operators. For example, speaking about the sports betting sector, Vasudha Bachchan has emphasized that, keeping in mind the huge number of sportsbooks offered to Indian players on the web, available payment methods influence users’ choice. It has been proved that websites with UPI have better customer conversion. Lee Pelling has come round to her opinion, saying that a gambling company should make sure that it provides local solutions before entering the market.
At the same time, the experts have noted that, although Indian players prefer to deposit and get payouts via UPI, companies should understand that different payment methods target different people. Some players still use cash because, initially, gambling has been done with it, and Indian consumers have got used to it for many years. According to Phil Neal, it is better for operators to have cash payments for big deposits and UPI for lesser amounts.
Speaking about UPI, Vasudha Bachchan has highlighted its main drawback. The system’s infrastructure is overburdened now as volumes in the country are increasing astronomically. Sometimes banks lag behind UPI and can’t cope with all transactions that go through it. They need to catch up because when banks go down, it is a huge problem for players who want to deposit. It is expected that the National Payments Corporation of India, the system developer, will create an umbrella entity soon and introduce new technologies for the retail sector. It will help to offload the system.