A report released by PayNearMe identified that sports betting and igaming users regularly encounter payment problems when depositing or withdrawing funds.
From glitches to deposit and withdrawal issues, the apps appear everything but seamless. Errors create challenges for regulators, such as the NC Lottery Commission, which will soon start accepting sportsbook applications.
When those online sportsbooks apply for a North Carolina online sports betting license, they will have to submit their internal controls, showing how, among other things, users will make and receive payment. Reports like PayNearMe’s can provide insight for regulators vetting online operators.
Study finds significant challenges with payment processing systems
Betting Hero, the company commissioned to conduct the research, surveyed 231 bettors over 21 from Ohio, Maryland, and Massachusetts.
The report revealed that 22% of respondents cited user interface or user experience issues. A further 29% of surveyees pointed out problems with funding accounts or withdrawing money.
The purpose of the survey was two-fold. Firstly, it allowed PayNearMe to better understand the problems patrons encounter with payments at sportsbooks. Secondly, it keeps patrons abreast of the problems facing online sports betting customers and offers solutions to those problems.
According to PayNearMe Vice President and General Manager of iGaming and Sports Betting Leighton Webb, “maximizing the lifetime value of a customer” is sound business practice. In other words, seeing customers through the process of making a successful deposit and paying out any winnings without friction.
Regrettably, that is not what’s happening 100% of the time. Customers’ experiences have been so subpar that 44% of respondents said they’d delete an app if they experienced glitching or non-responsiveness.
Thirteen percent of respondents were prepared to abandon an app if deposit issues occurred and another 26% if withdrawal problems arose.
Patrons have little patience for sportsbook apps that handle money poorly
It’s no secret operators spend oodles of money wooing customers. It would be a shame for them to turn around and lose those customers because of a risky deposit experience.
Yet that seems to be the case.
Twenty-three percent of bettors who couldn’t deposit funds with an app ditched it for good. A mere one-fifth of customers with funding problems, and a quarter of those with withdrawal issues actually contacted customer services to seek help.
That means sportsbooks often have one chance to get it right with a customer’s money before they take their business elsewhere.
One of the fine lines sportsbook apps have to straddle is between accepting as many deposits as possible yet still securing the platform from fraud.
If a system is too restrictive, not enough people are allowed in or the sign-up process becomes prohibitively time consuming. However, if the measures are too lax, there is the potential risk of fraud. Presently, the acceptance rate for sportsbooks and igaming deposits is close to 90%, says Webb.
This high acceptance rate matters because it explains why the 23% of bettors who ditched an app for funding issues encountered the initial problems.
When a payment platform experiences too many rapid successive deposits or withdrawals, this could trigger a velocity limit and insufficient funds.
Ensuring secure and convenient payments in sports betting apps is crucial for both customers and operators. However, operators must refine the payment experience to keep patrons happy.
That means all aspects of the process, from the design of the cashier interfaces to the availability of tenders, to fraud implementation, must be enhanced.
NC Lottery Commission slow to launch
These operator upgrades and enhancements could further slow down North Carolina’s online sports betting launch.
We already know the launch will not occur on Jan 8, when it becomes legal. NCLC Commissioner Carli Boyce made this quite clear during the Nov. 14 meeting.
And the commission is not yet accepting applications for sports betting operators.
So, what’s the holdup? According to Ripley Rand and Deputy Executive Director of Gaming Compliance and Sports Betting Sterl Carpenter, multiple steps are required to license and approve operators before any bets are placed.
Yet, these steps cannot be taken until the sports betting law takes effect Jan 8.
Once these operators submit applications, they must undergo a stringent investigation to comply with the law fully.
Still, the NCLC is deliberately preparing the Tar Heel State for sports betting. Solidifying the first draft of rules and regulations for North Carolina mobile sports betting alone happened four months after Gov. Cooper signed online sports betting into law.
Ohio and Massachusetts, two states that recently ushered in sports betting, managed to churn out the first batch of rules and regulations within two months of signing the bills.
However, it may be a silver lining for bettors interested in NC sportsbook promos that regulators are not rushing toward the launch. By taking it slow, they can minimize mistakes and ensure that a frictionless payment processing system is in place once mobile sports betting takes off in NC.