Global Payments ecosystem removes uncertainty

January 24, 2023 9:15 PM
Photo: Courtesy
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports
January 24, 2023 9:15 PM
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports

Global Payments takes away the uncertainty when it comes to a casino’s payment ecosystem. The company has positioned itself so that when all of its products are combined, no company can compare with what Global Payments offers. It handles all facets of transactions through products and services built in-house.

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“When you look at a casino’s payment ecosystem, it’s made up of a number of different partners, which means there’s a lot of integration and potential service and liability and support handoffs, all of which can introduce uncertainty into that environment,” said Josh Swissman, founding partner at The Strategy Organization, a company consultant. “Global Payments is vertically integrated from start to finish. That leads to a more secure and hardened environment, a one-stop shop in terms of support. Thus, the user experience is typically more refined and more seamless.”

In addition to the vertically integration, it’s also a massive operation when you look at its user base, Swissman said. Global Payments has millions of users, while other competitors in the payments’ gaming space don’t have anywhere near that many customer accounts and users.

“There’s a scale there that I think sometimes gets lost in the shuffle when we spend so much time talking about the ecosystem, even more so when we talk about one thing in particular, like VIP Mobility,” Swissman said.

VIP Mobility allows for a better gaming experience by enabling patrons to fund their play and complete all transactions on their mobile devices, which leverages a digital approach that emphasizes speed and convenience.

“If you look at it from the gaming-customer standpoint, which is how you should approach any consumer-facing technology, Global Payments cuts across all areas where customers might gamble,” Swissman said. “That includes land-based casinos, online casinos, online sports betting, and lotteries, among others.”

Global Payments is present in a number of different ways in land-based operations, both cash and cashless, and offers full and self-service.

VIP Preferred is Global Payments industry-standard e-check network, designed to connect directly to patrons’ checking accounts for an innovative cashless gaming experience, Swissman said. However, VIP Preferred not only makes e-check payments fast and easy, it also significantly improves patrons’ gaming experience by providing the option to enter bank information manually or use online banking credentials, which allows for fast and easy online enrollment. After one enrollment, patrons can connect to more than 400 land-based and online gaming institutions across the U.S. to increase speed, eliminate manual-entry mishaps, and emphasize safety and security.

VIP Preferred is backed by bank-grade security to ensure all transactions are done quickly, while keeping patrons’ information safe. Within this ecosystem, casinos can seamlessly integrate with existing systems and support transferring of funds among mobile devices, financial institutions, and the casino floor or online sportsbook.

For patrons who prefer to use cash in casinos, the VIP Financial Center is Global Payments Gaming Solutions comprehensive kiosk solution. The VIP Financial Center is a full-service system on the casino floor that provides convenient self-service TITO redemption, bill-breaking, e-check, and ATM and cash-advance capabilities to casino guests. The VIP Financial Center also enables many of Global Payments’ other solutions, such as cashless and VIP Mobility, which also utilizes the Global Payments’ industry-standard e-check network to directly connect patrons’ wagering accounts to their bank accounts.

With Global Payments systems, cash advances enjoy heightened integration with credit-card processors and the added levels of security within the VIP Financial Center, Swissman said.

“You can conduct a cash-advance transaction completely at the VIP Financial Center, as opposed to competitors, where you go to the kiosk and start the transaction, then take a receipt and go to the cage to finish the transaction. It’s a two-step process that involves two different areas on the casino floor and two different lines that you potentially have to stand in. Global Payments has improved the user experience and allows the complete transaction to happen in one place with one line in a more self-service fashion.”

When customers using cash are done playing for the day, they can interact with Global Payments in two ways. Slot players with machine tickets redeem them at the VIP Financial Center. If they have a VIP Mobility app on their smartphone, they can also scan their tickets to move those funds onto their app and back into the checking accounts.

In addition, cashless customers with a VIP Preferred account also have the VIP Mobility app on their smartphone. Instead of going to the cage for that e-check transaction, they do it directly on their smartphone. Those funds move out of the checking account and onto the mobile device, then sit in the VIP Preferred balance.

Players can then go to the slot machine or table game and wirelessly transfer those funds to the game. They can play with those funds and any winnings that they receive come back to them via a slot ticket. Cashless customers can scan that ticket into their smart device and into their balance and transfer it back to their checking account.

Need a few dollars on hand to tip the valet? Cashless customers can redeem some of the balance in their VIP Preferred at the VIP Financial Center and get $5, $10, or $20, whatever they want to have in their pocket, Swissman said. Want a sandwich at the coffee shop? They can also use their VIP Preferred balance in the smartphone app to purchase non-gaming goods and services at the property.

“If you look at competitor environments and try to approximate the same type of user experience, you’re dealing with many different handoffs from one technology to the next to the next to the next,” Swissman said. “That can create a clunky and non-intuitive user interface, potentially leading to imperfect support.”

With Global Payments, everything is already pre-integrated. It’s not only all within the same system, but it’s the largest vertically integrated payment company in existence.

“Everything is supported together and if a casino customer has any problems at any point along the way, the Global Payments support team can see that transaction through from start to finish 24/7,” Swissman said. “When you’re in a competitor environment and everything is pieced together, each support call can see only their part of the user experience where funds come in and go out. They can’t look at the overall experience, which leads to inferior customer support.”

Global Payments also offers VIP LightSpeed, which helps facilitate enrollment into VIP Preferred, plus e-check transactions, cash advances at the cage, and Choice4 delayed-settlement service.

“The one-stop LightSpeed handles all of that,” Swissman said. “It also has reporting and anti-money laundering functionality. Because it all happens in one space, that improves the experience of casino employees. It’s the same when supporting their kiosks on the floor. They’re all integrated into the systems that were built to talk with each other and are supported by the exact same team.”

This environment is so robust and at the same time is so simple that if a casino is looking to integrate or modernize its payment ecosystem, Global Payments can create everything with one integration team. That’s done through one process, as opposed to negotiating numerous processes separately, necessitating the IT team to focus on integration along the way to make sure the data is flowing from one place to the next.

“Global Payments’ integration and installation happens at a level no other company on its own can compete with,” Swissman said.

As for the interactive side of the business (lottery tickets, online casinos, and sports betting), Global Payments is likewise involved in every step, Swissman said. Not only can the company process other bank and provider transactions, but it also offers those account funding and withdrawal features themselves.

The VIP Preferred e-check process also works quite well in the interactive environment.

“If customers want to interact with a favorite online sports betting provider through an existing banking relationship, Global Payments can help facilitate that,” Swissman said. “If they want to use their VIP Preferred account through an ACH type of transaction and pull money out of their checking account and into their wagering account, they can do that. They can also use that VIP Preferred account to move money back from their wagering account into their checking account. Global Payments is there at every step on the way.”

Features like the Choice4 deferred-settlement option are available in both interactive and land-based operations. That service allows customers to transfer funds out of their checking accounts through ACH. Global Payments won’t settle for a predetermined number of days up to 28, depending on the jurisdiction. VIP Preferred account holders typically take advantage of that popular option.

“The beautiful thing about all of this is that as we move from the land-based to the interactive space and from one gaming company to another, you need only one VIP Preferred account as a casino customer or end user,” Swissman said.

When you sign up for VIP Preferred once, that’s all you need to do; your account works everywhere that VIP Preferred is accepted.

“Some of the competitors’ solutions require you to sign up multiple times, once for each casino or online sportsbook that offers the solution. With Global Payments,” Swissman said, “it’s once and done, a far superior user experience.”

The limits tied to your VIP Preferred account follow you from one place to the next. That means what you get from a VIP Preferred user is certainty and consistency when you move from one casino to the next or place wagers online, Swissman said.

There is also built-in responsible-gaming functionality and if customers want to limit themselves for how many, how large, or how frequent their VIP Preferred transactions should be, it’s easy for casino employees to implement those important restrictions.

If customers want to implement those restrictions, that can happen in the smartphone app or they can call the support group through Global Payments.