Date: 24.04.2024

by Mateusz Mazur

Last update: 24.04.2024 11:16

“Open banking is the future. In my opinion, Trustly is the leader in this segment”

We sat down with Vasilije Lekovic, Vice President of Gaming at Trustly, to discuss the evolving role of Open Banking-powered payments in the gaming industry. With a deep dive into how Trustly is leading this transformation, Lekovic sheds light on the strategic advantages and innovations that Open Banking offers.

What continued role do you think Open banking-powered payments have to play in the gaming industry?

Open Banking payments have recently gone from a niche idea to a widely accepted mainstream solution. Gaming is riding a payments transformation and Trustly powering the wave. A pioneer in Open Banking payments, Trustly was founded in 2008 and launched the first instant payout product built to cater to the needs of gaming operators. Trustly’s first-mover advantage allowed us to create an unmatched network of bank accounts that cannot and will not be replicated by challengers.

Trustly stands in good stead to capture the growing consumer and merchant appetite for Open Banking payments. Digital native users want payments that match the convenience of the digital age. Seamlessly easy, lightning-fast and secure every single time – a power trio that Open Banking payments by Trustly can overdeliver on.

1 in 7 Brits are now active Open Banking payment users. Trustly has played a pivotal role in driving the adoption of Open Banking payments beyond gaming; as a provider across multiple verticals including governmental agencies such as HMRC and NS&I, our users have exploded. This improved familiarity makes it easier for users to choose us when gaming online too.

Beyond speed, security and convenience, why do you think that Open Banking payments can challenge dominant legacy solutions?

The secret sauce of Open Banking powered payments is that they can be enriched with data to deliver a wealth of additional value. In the hands of the right provider, Open Banking payments can move money better than ever before, as well as improve conversion, personalise payments and simplify operational complexity.

Trustly has taken full advantage of this opportunity with the launch of Trustly Azura, the most powerful data engine ever seen in payments. Azura can instantly triangulate data between users, merchants and banks to personalise experiences for users whenever they use Trustly. As Trustly is the largest Open Banking payments provider, we can deliver this experience across borders, merchants and even devices.

An existing Trustly user can play with a new operator for the first time and experience a streamlined personalised deposit flow despite having never visited that merchant before. It’s delivering a massive boost for adoption, new user acquisition and ultimately, conversion. Recent data suggests we can reach an average conversion of up to 98.8%!

The opportunities don’t stop there. We’ve used our data capabilities to create, develop and launch a new Affordability solution in the UK in the past months. This solution instantly collects multiple key user data points to assess the player’s financial habits – helping operators meet regulatory requirements and tackle problem gaming.

Affordability requirements seem set to become the norm and many operators fear that the additional step will hurt their business. Trustly’s solution makes affordability quick, accurate and effortless for users and operators. As mentioned, this is live in the UK and we are working hard on delivering this to the Netherlands and Germany soon.

Isn’t Open Banking an even playing field that allows companies to deliver a similar experience?

This is a common misconception. ‘Open Banking’ includes simple payment initiation to account assessment capabilities. Few providers can offer the full spectrum and fewer yet have built a tech platform to unlock even more benefits for merchants.

Trustly has built a unique network of bank accounts across Europe and North America so that we can process payments without relying on national and international schemes – of which we are also members. We can ensure reliable instant processing, handle high volumes at peak times and innovate as we see fit, rather than relying on anyone else.

As mentioned above, we can also solve problems beyond payment processing because of our advanced data capabilities. We offer inbuilt collection, reconciliation and settlement tools, our FX processing makes cross-border payments effortless and our Pay N Play offering combines deposits and user verification into a single flow. The list goes on!

What market-specific focus do you currently have?

Right now, we have a big focus on the UK and meeting demand there. The UK is the biggest gaming market in Europe, despite this, limitations of legacy payments have long been a blocker to growth. Challenges such as processing speed, friction in the flow and lack of additional value like data products have left operators looking elsewhere.

Trustly addresses these challenges and more – thanks to special adoption efforts with selected operators we have achieved over 35% share of wallet and higher. And as mentioned above, we deliver a conversion rate of almost 100%.

Pay N Play, our revolutionary onboarding solution that combines deposit and verification into one seamless flow, has been met with particular interest by operators. Onboarding new users is a headache across Europe – Pay N Play turns visitors into players within mere moments while meeting regulatory requirements. We launched Pay N Play in the UK with the first operators in January this year, having transformed onboarding in Sweden, Finland and the Baltics since 2015.

The seamlessness of both our deposit experience and Pay N Play is turning heads in the UK and the permanent shift away from legacy solutions is already well underway.

How about major EU economies too – are you seeing success there?

Germany is a market where we see fantastic potential as it has good banking infrastructure, preference for direct bank payments and appropriate gaming regulation.

We have been partnered with leading operators in Germany for some time now. We are a perfect fit in the market as we can provide quality products and services, and reduce risk and complexity through our data capabilities.

The incumbent bank transfer solutions in Germany can initiate payments but aren’t in the flow of funds like Trustly. Trustly offers an advanced risk system that reduces losses for operators to near zero while moving funds fast. We will also go live with our affordability solution soon so that merchants can raise or lower payer limits to unlock or limit gaming.

Trustly delivers so much value and is more cost-effective than popular e-wallet solutions that operators are promoting our solution to users. Consider too the frictionless personalisation via our data engine Trustly Azura, and you’ll quickly see why our volumes and conversion rates are soaring in Germany.

What does the future hold for Trustly and the potential of your products?

Innovation, expansion and optimisation have been and always will be core for Trustly. We will continuously innovate and optimise our products and services to create the best outcomes. I’ve shared some of our roadmap here, there is much more to come.

In terms of expansion, our recent acquisition of SlimPay, a Pan-European recurring payments specialist based in France, opens up new opportunities in Western and Southern Europe. Trustly already offers instant payouts in all European currencies but we are now looking to roll out our deposit product to more markets.

There is a lot of potential in Southern Europe – the core challenge has been the banking infrastructure that limits the performance of our product. But don’t worry, we will tackle this hurdle as we have tackled all other hurdles we’ve come across.