“Payments are more crucial than ever to gain advantage ahead of the competition”
Payment Consultant, BusinessWoman of the Year 2023, and most importantly Founder – PSP Angels, Viktoria Soltesz in an interview with us talks about the activities of PSP Angels, but also discusses the complicated topic of payments in the iGaming industry very extensively.
Can you tell us more about PSP Angels and the services it provides in the payment consulting sector?
PSP Angels Group is an independent payment consulting firm.
We understand the payment market and have a huge network of different banks and financial providers, so we can give our clients an accurate picture of all the different payment and banking options.
We know the payments market’s ever-changing risk appetite and licensing requirements, as well as what fees are currently offered. We help our clients make informative decisions about the possible options, prices and risks.
Within our personalized payment consulting services, we set up an overall payment plan, help to move funds between countries, reduce real banking and payment risks, re-negotiate current fees to match the lower market rates, optimize tax and cash flow, and assist with the overall payment/banking setup.
Helping our clients to take their business globally, we explain what country uses which types of payment options and we also refer them to local payment providers for safer and cheaper banking and financial products. We have several partners who offer payment solutions, alternative payment methods, mobile payments, wallets, open banking, vouchers, crypto payments, chargeback and fraud tools, cashiers, and correspondent banks, based on individual circumstances and needs.
Our Cyprus branch offers various fiduciary, accounting, taxation and audit services, where we assist companies not only during their operation, but also from incorporation, including company setup, licensing (office and personal setups, executive and non-executive directors, AML officers, lawyers, software providers, correspondent banks etc.)
Our Malta branch offers banking and payment consulting, aimed specifically for iGaming and Gambling industry.
Via our new Greek branch, we now offer in mergers and acquisitions of financial licensed companies such as brokerages, crypto exchanges, banks, E-money institutions, small payment institutions, money service businesses insurance and remittance companies, etc. globally
We also specialize in payment and financial evaluations on different projects to assist.
With your expertise in assisting high-risk industries, what are some of the key challenges these businesses face in terms of payment processing and banking options?
Unfortunately, if you are at high risk your payment providers are going to be high risk as well. This means when the business is operating in a high risk environment they have to pay extreme attention to the payment flow and the payment planning, and proceed with enhanced due diligence every time they engage a new banking or payment partner.
Moving money between countries could also be a challenge due to the different regulatory or risk assessment practices of the banks and financial institutions. Also, high risk industries are facing higher banking costs. This is the price of the checks which banks perform over and over again.
Banks are independent entities which operate differently and are regulated under various countries and governments, so their security standards and compliance check requirements vary. Different regulations and laws across countries need different approaches to accepting, handling, storing and transferring funds.
The lower the banking fee the more certain we can be that the sender and the recipient bank is regulated under similar rules, which we see for example on the SEPA instant network or at the ACH transfers which are typically free for most consumers. However, when the money hits international routes, expense increases.
How do you stay updated with the ever-changing payment market landscape in countries like Malta, Cyprus, Spain, and Hungary?
Combining the ever changing payment information with my economics and tax expert background, handling projects and complex cases on a daily basis. Speaking at different trade shows and conferences also helped me to build a strong network in the industry and thanks to my never ending curiosity I am always keen on finding solutions and answers to the hardest cases.
I travel a lot to meet various players and clients, as seeing real life cases from the front row helps me to be up to date with the latest developments and industry gossip. Being in the middle of the information flow is important to know the details: what works, what to avoid, who is over promising and under delivering and what’s the realistic fee on the market. Payments are more crucial than ever to gain advantage ahead of the competition.
Even the best payment plan is temporary and cannot predict the future. As any plan, this exercise can only provide a snapshot of the best of the opportunities for a limited amount of time. As technology advances and various changes take place in both the political, regulatory, technical and operational way, the company’s own operation as well as its banking and the payment provider landscape is changing all the time.
To make sure that we have mitigated the risk and optimised the cost as much as possible we need to make sure that the payment plan is regularly monitored and amended if and when it’s necessary. The ongoing monitoring and intervention is just as important as the first time we set up the payment plan.
What is the current status of cryptocurrencies as a means of online payment in the iGaming industry?
As fiat payments are heavily regulated and controlled today, processing payments became harder for the iGaming industry. Crypto was a great opportunity to bypass these strict regulations, and offer an easier, cheaper and quicker way for both deposits and payouts.
However, even though many times the crypto processing is legal, many companies took an unfair advantage of this system, and did not declare earnings, avoided taxes or regulations, or used this less regulated technology to accept payments from clients where they should not have. This resulted in various rejections, restrictions or refusals for the whole iGaming and crypto industry from traditional banks, which made life hard for even the legit players.
A few years ago, a very creative idea came about when iGaming companies set up a cryptocurrency exchange, which was relatively quick and cheap, to process payments for their clientele. The customer, many times not even being aware of what their card payment is used for, have been transferred to the exchange, where their payment was used to purchase crypto assets instead of iGaming services.
The crypto was then automatically transferred to the iGaming website’s wallet, as a deposit, so they could immediately serve the customer. Since crypto exchanges were not as strictly regulated as traditional payment means a few years ago, this system was very popular to avoid the high fees of the traditional banks and payment providers.
What are the major challenges in online payments that the iGaming industry is currently facing, and how can PSP Angels assist in addressing them?
The iGaming industry is getting more and more regulated, which affects the payment and banking providers as well, since they have to follow up all regulatory changes to avoid any penalty for allowing transactions which they should not. Since every country is now introducing their own requirements, the payment planning gets complex and hard to follow.
Our Malta branch offers banking and payment consulting, aimed specifically for the iGaming and Gambling industry.
Our team has a combined 30 years of payment experience within the iGaming and Gambling banking and payments, so we can we explain what country uses which types of payment options and we also refer them to local payment providers for safer and cheaper banking and financial products.
We have several partners who offer payment solutions, alternative payment methods, mobile payments, wallets, open banking, vouchers, crypto payments, chargeback and fraud tools, cashiers, and correspondent banks, based on individual circumstances and needs. We know the payments market’s ever-changing risk appetite and licensing requirements, as well as what fees are currently offered. We help our clients make informative decisions about the possible options, prices and risks.
Within ourpersonalized payment consulting services, we set up an overall payment plan, help to move funds between countries, reduce real banking and payment risks, re-negotiate current fees to match the lower market rates,