Designing with Social Responsibility in Mind by Paul Deed, Game Payment Technology CTO
New technology and ways of doing things always brings new challenges; the rise and rise of cashless payments is no exception. Recent data from UK finance shows that, on average, the number of card payments made by a typical adult in the UK each month is 28 vs. 17 made by cash. The same report revealed that more than 5 million people in the UK led an almost cashless lifestyle in 2018. Two million people used cash no more than once a month. In response to this, more and more bars, pubs and other venues are moving to be 100% cashless.
The advantages to consumers of using non-cash payment methods is their speed and ease. However, it is precisely these advantages that present a challenge when enabling the cashless play of games machines. At GPT, we are committed to ensuring that we deliver an app that allows the cashless play of games machines in a socially responsible way.
The use of a digital wallet allows us to introduce several controls and safeguards, beyond those that would be possible with traditional cash-based play;
• Only debit cards can be used to load funds into a wallet. Credit cards cannot be used.
• There are limits on when and how a player can add a new card to their account. Players have a default weekly limit of £100 for wallet top-ups.
• If a player requests a limit increase, it will not take effect until 24 hours later.
• There is a maximum weekly limit beyond which a player cannot go; this has been set in line with the National Lottery.
• Players are required to take a break before they can access new funds from their wallet and spend them at a games machine.
• Players receive reminders of how much time and money have been spent when playing machines.
• Players are able to see the full history of the top-ups and withdrawals as well as machine play.
These controls, and others, have been put in place in accordance with the Gambling Commission’s “Cashless Payment Technologies in Gambling Premises” document published on the commission’s website. They are currently being independently reviewed by Harris Hagan so that we can further refine them in before the pilot, later this year.
For those players wanting to take a break from play, the app offers the ability to set a cooling-off period of between one week and six months. During this time, the player will not be able to access their account – this cannot be reversed. It is also simple for players to close their account if they wish.
Anomaly detection and other controls allow us to detect suspicious or abnormal patterns of play that may indicate an issue.
Users will not be able to gain access to the app until we have age verified them. We are using some exciting technology, which is at the forefront of age verification globally. We look forward to making an announcement about this in the near future.
We are committed to providing an app at the forefront of social responsibility, which allows people to play games machines for fun in a safe and enjoyable way. If players feel it has stopped being fun, we have the controls and support to allow them to stop.
We are piloting in several locations this year and are looking forward to hearing feedback from venues, operators and customers alike. If you are interested in taking part in the pilot, or would simply like more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.