Cashless-payment systems require vigilance, monitoring, as fraud attempts increase

Cashless-payment systems require vigilance, monitoring, as fraud attempts increase

  • Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports
July 20, 2022 10:54 PM
  • Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports
  • Other

As more gaming operators embrace the benefits of cashless-payment systems, movies such as Ocean’s 11 and Heist are becoming anachronistic. Future villains are unlikely to be as charismatic as George Clooney or Brad Pitt plotting to rob a casino vault; rather, they’ll be more like an anonymous hacker hovering over a keyboard in a basement.

According to Global Payments’ President Christopher Justice, cashless systems provide numerous benefits to operators and patrons alike, including the elimination of many physical touchpoints on casino floors.

Fraud attempts are instead shifting to “online environments.”

“As a result, operators must strengthen their anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) practices to ensure patrons are protected from funding through cash-out,” Justice says.

According to a recent Trans Union quarterly analysis, attempts to defraud the gaming industry through digital fraud increased by 50.1% in the first quarter of 2022. Justice acknowledges that the gaming industry, like many other sectors experiencing growth, is vulnerable to fraudulent online behavior. The rise in digital payments renders gaming especially susceptible.

“As fraudulent behavior continues to move to the digital world, operators must ensure their solutions meet not only regulator expectations, but also the evolving needs of patrons,” Justice says. “Patrons expect a frictionless gaming experience and the best way for operators to achieve this is by creating a quicker and safer onboarding process for their cashless-gaming experience. Cashless gaming also eliminates the need to carry potentially large amounts of cash around in public, leaving patrons feeling safer.”

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Global Payments attempts to help operators strengthen compliance practices through its cashless solution that leverages an omnichannel approach. VIP Mobility, a mobile solution enabling cashless gaming, connects to self-service kiosks on casino floors, creating frictionless gaming experiences across all channels.

VIP Mobility also provides extra layers of consumer protection, while fitting within existing gaming regulations. AML and KYC controls are tighter and create additional checks and balances to mitigate fraud.

“The cashless-gaming environment also allows for greater awareness of fraudulent payments and behavior,” Justice says. “Casino operators and payment providers have a greater ability to protect themselves and their customers in a cashless environment.”

Given how cashless payments have become commonplace at grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, and anywhere else people buy goods, the implementation of such systems, whether online or at casinos, seems inevitable.

Justice agrees that many cashless systems can be safer than traditional payment methods on the casino floor, “especially as regulators continue to place greater emphasis on cybersecurity compliance,” he says, noting that gaming-technology providers are starting to establish unique approaches to create secure gaming environments for customers.

Justice cites Global Payments’ VIP Mobility’s capability to directly connect a user’s bank account to a casino as an example.

“This means VIP Mobility is not a traditional wagering app that keeps money in a separate ecosystem, which mitigates the risk of fraudulent behavior,” Justice says. “Additionally, users can enroll within five minutes, because the bank’s existing AML controls directly connect to the casino’s TITO controls, making it simple to set up an account. By partnering with a gaming-technology provider that understands the complex regulatory requirements of the gaming industry, operators can ensure the security of patrons’ funds.”

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Rege Behe is lead contributor to CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at rbehe@cdcgaming.com. Please follow @RegeBehe_exPTR on Twitter.