A new partnership between Sightline Payments and NRT Technology highlights the contactless payment solutions now prevalent at coffee shops, sports arenas, and ride-sharing services.
Sightline Payments CEO Joe Pappano says that “cashless is the new buzzword” for two complex, highly regulated industries: payments and gaming.
“It’s going to be a very collaborative effort,” Pappano says. “It’s a very complex ecosystem. What we’re trying to bring together is everything happening on the digital side, how that cascades down into the integrated casino resort and everything happening on the gaming floor, and inevitably, how does that converge on the non-gaming side. This is going to take some time in regards to the evolution and rollout of this digital transformation.”
The agreement between Sightline and NRT leverages the capabilities of two companies considered industry leaders in cashless technology. Sightline is a payments technology provider that enables fast, safe and convenient cashless transactions through its Play+ platform. NRT designs and develops next generation enterprise payments systems, notably its Resort of the Future platform, a comprehensive suite of advanced solutions to increase patron loyalty and improve operating efficiencies.
The partnership between Sightline and NRT is designed to meet the demands of operators and especially gaming patrons.
“When you start to think about cashless gaming and what that seamless consumer experience is going to look like, you need to make sure you have integration into all the disparate points of interaction that occur within an integrated casino resort,” Pappano says.
Because NRT has been providing secure payment ecosystems for decades, Pappano adds, the disparate points of interaction at casinos and resorts are more easily integrated with Sightline’s Play+, an FDIC insured debit account that allows transfers of money within payment ecosystems.
“It now allows for that single player identity and experience to be able to take, embed and utilize a cashless offering,” Pappano says, “or to engage in cashless anywhere on that gaming floor where you have NRT Technology being utilized by that casino property.”
While the new technology is often framed as a cash vs. cashless dichotomy, NRT president Michael Dominelli thinks it is more important to view the debate from the guest experience point of view. The partnership between NRT and Sightline offers guests various payment options, and convenience.
“As we enable the digital ecosystem, the casino of the future will absolutely harness more data around the payment experiences across the entire integrated casino resort,” Dominelli says, “unlocking new patterns that will advance the development of new guest services and meet users’ expectations. Power behind the data will drive new opportunities and keep the gaming industry relevant and remain one of the top entertainment products of choice.”
The increased popularity of cashless payment options is not only a reaction to safer gaming practices spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, but also mirrors the growth of online sports betting and igaming.
Jonathan Michaels, Sightline’s senior vice president for Strategic Development & Government Affairs calls the marriage of cashless payments and online sports gambling a “fortuitous relationship.”
“Without payments acceptance, you do not have sports betting,” Michaels says. “You don’t have the growth you see in igaming, And what operators have seen is that’s been successful, it’s been safe, it’s been secure. And now you have all these operators that have sports betting sportsbooks in multiple jurisdictions. How do you bring that digital wallet into the brick-and-mortar realm and create an real omnichannel experience?”
Michaels adds that the options available through cashless payments through a single system – from paying for chips at a blackjack table to booking a hotel room and ordering dinner – provide gaming patrons with a more convenient and streamlined experience.
“It really adds a great value to the consumer they didn’t have previously,” Michaels says.