Online Game Onboarding – 36 years later...

More than four decades after the release of SGI Dogfight in 1986, many in the industry don't grasp a fundamental principle of online game onboarding: The first interaction a new player has with your gaming site typically sets the tone for your entire future relationship. To a large extent, how well you deliver a great onboarding experience determines whether or not that customer will stay with you and recommend you to their friends.

It's of the utmost importance that your online game onboarding process is efficient and easy to understand. It complies with the latest legislation - including casino gaming KYC requirements such as asking the player for digital proof of identity. Let us look at some of gaming sites' most common mistakes when onboarding new players.

  • The Online Game Onboarding Process is Slow And Cumbersome
 

Online gaming enthusiasts are notoriously impatient and have a particularly low tolerance for cumbersome online game onboarding processes. For example, suppose you are using multiple vendors during the identity verification process, and it takes days or weeks before you decide whether the customer is approved. In that case, they will most likely go to another gaming site where onboarding happens in minutes. According to industry data, you could lose as many as 45% of potential players in this way.

Let's say, for example, you cross-check the applicant's data with a data aggregator or credit bureau. Typically you will get a match rate of around 70%. Unfortunately, this still means that you will initially reject 30% of prospective players. In addition, many operators require these people to submit a copy of their official ID document. This takes even more time and often converts into more lost customers.

Download Free eBook Luckily, thanks to the latest AI and biometrics technologies, this process can be automated and streamlined without needing more than one vendor.

  • Not Exploiting The Mobile Experience
 Mobile gaming offers a significant and growing opportunity for online gaming sites to acquire new customers. Based on industry research, nearly 40% of those surveyed preferred to play online games via an app on their mobile phone or tablet. And of the people who expressed a preference for this alternative, around 29% said that a protracted sign-up process often discouraged them from joining a specific site.
  • Relying Too Much On Manual Reviews
 During the online game onboarding and identity verification, gaming firms traditionally used humans to perform manual checks on the newcomer's documentation. Unfortunately, this archaic way of doing things takes a lot of time and frustrates many prospective customers to the point where they give up and decide to switch to a competitor.

It is also a reality that humans make more mistakes than computers. For example, they might allow fraudsters to slip through the cracks or incorrectly flag legitimate users and/or transactions. Plus, onboarding games for new hires often take frustratingly long.

This leads to unnecessary friction between your business and the customer and lost business opportunities. The bottom line is that your fraud prevention systems are ineffective unless they can separate the wrong users from good ones with a very high level of reliability.

Automated screening processes are more accurate, faster, and more efficient than their manual counterparts. As a result, users can typically decide within a concise time frame.

Manual or human reviews are often triggered by one or more of the following:

Age verification: In the offline world, when a player enters a casino or betting shop, they will typically be assessed by the cashier to ensure they are not below the minimum age. There's a similar process in online gaming sites, except that they don't have the benefit of making a visual assessment - so whether you look 16 or 96, you have to produce an ID. The good news is that a large part of this process can be automated - yet many gaming operators are still clinging to manual age verification systems.

ID Verification: In 70% of cases, identity verification providers can deliver a clear 'yes' or 'no' verdict; between 30% and 40% of verification decisions still produce an indefinite response. This imposes a significant workload on the company's internal review staff.

Address Verification: The arrival of 5AMLD (the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive) in January 2020 introduced various new requirements if the player is from a country regarded as high-risk by the Financial Action Task Force. For most online gaming operators, extracting data such as proof of address from images of an applicant's credit card or bank statements is often laborious and time-consuming.

  • Not Adhering To Legal Requirements
 Disregarding legal requirements can come at a considerable cost for online gaming sites. Quite a few of these companies have closed their doors because of massive non-compliance fines, while more than one major brand suffered significant damage to its reputation.

However, the reality is that there is currently an extensive range of gambling regulators and regulations to consider. For example, online gamers in the UK have to adhere to the various UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) regulations. Also, in that country, the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) lays down strict identity and address verification requirements when opening an account. And EDD and casino KYC requirements are based on a risk-based approach to online gaming. In various other markets, 2+2 becomes a requirement when reaching specific thresholds or making a withdrawal.

In Europe, the individual countries are still, to a large extent, responsible for their online gaming legislation. Unfortunately, no standardized laws or regulations control online gaming across the continent. Therefore, what is legal and what isn't can differ substantially from one country to the next.

That does not mean there will never be a standardized set of age and identity verification regulations in Europe. On the contrary, the basic principles of UKGC might very well be expanded to European countries in the future, meaning that gaming operators from across the continent will have to follow the same set of identity, age, and address verification rules.

In the struggle to remain compliant, many firms still resort to manual identity verification systems - but as we have seen above, this can lead to long delays for people who want to open accounts, forcing them to go elsewhere.

The challenge is to comply with legal requirements without unnecessary red tape and delays that can cause customers to leave.

Bonus Section: How We Can Help To Make Online Game Onboarding Easier 

We provide an online service that offers digital age and ID verification so we can help your gaming site to sidestep many of the problems with online game onboarding mentioned above. We're focusing on enterprise-level companies requiring age and ID verification.

The other solution we offer is employee verification, allowing existing employees of enterprise companies to verify anything from documents, testing, etc. For example, when companies were mandating vaccinations or proof of testing, we created a solution allowing Human Resource departments to track their employee's records tied into their HR systems.

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Sources:

Most Common Mistakes When Onboarding New Players - Acuant

5 Killer Mistakes When Onboarding New Players in Online Gaming (jumio.com)

IT Rules 2021: How Does it Impact the Onboarding Process for Real Money Gaming Websites? (authbridge.com)

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