As the expansion of igaming regulation continues across the US, a focus on improving the customer experience through identity verification and a smooth onboarding process.  

Speaking at the SBC Webinars and Onfido presentation, ‘Expanding Horizons: Where will iGaming be in 5 years?’ Alex Ursa, Senior Product Director at FanDuel, underlined why it’s crucial for firms to place a focus on the importance of identity verification in regulatory compliance; customer satisfaction; and tackling fraud. 

Commenting on the issue of regulatory compliance, Urso emphasised his belief the US market to be consistent with its regulatory standards on identity checks as it gives operators the chance to scale their products up.

Speaking to Danny Hakimian, Business Development Lead at Onfido, Urso said: “Ideally, you would have regulations that are very closely aligned across all states.

“Because that would give operators a good framework to build a sustainable and scalable product. You also need to protect consumers; because if you can catch bad actors at the time of account creation, for example, that would give you less bonus abuse which allows you to be more generous to your real customers.

“That’s what we are thinking. How can we keep our doors open for real customers and make it as easy as possible for them, but at the same time make it as difficult as possible for bad actors to get in the ecosystem.”

Market saturation intensifies as a problem when an industry grows, which leads to heightened competition between different operators. By making identity verification active and multi-stepped, customers can feel overwhelmed and use other operators. 

Urso believes operators must complete identity checks as passive as possible, whilst simultaneously making customers feel they are protected from fraudulent activity. The US, he claims, is a good market to implement this – better so than Europe, given everybody’s social security number is known. 

“If you’re too stringent, you’re either going to see low conversion rates or a lot of bad actors,” he added.  

“There are a lot of silent checks that can be done to make sure a customer is who they say they are. We need to introduce methods of authentication that are passive and silent and only introduce friction when there are concerns.”

Whilst customer experience is vital to a business’s chances of success, keeping those customers safe from external threats is just as, if not, more important. Despite the benefits that come with the economic growth of the industry, there are threats too. 

As industries grow more popular, the threat of fraudulent activity grows too. Identity verification is a key combative tool that operators have to protect their customers and their own reputation. 

Urso stated that checks are vital at four stages of the customer journey to ensure safety: the sign up process; logging in; depositing; and withdrawing. Yet, as the industry grows, there is more operators need to do, he claims, to combat fraud. 

“When you think about the future, I think the industry will become more of a target as it becomes bigger and more states legalise,” he explained. 

“That means more bad actors are thinking it is a way of generating their income. I think it is mainly on operators to build the trust and the tools to keep customers safe. I think regulators play a role here but operators should not wait for regulators to come and tell them that they need to provide secure services.”

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