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According to Paysafe’s latest research, quick and easy payouts outweigh all other factors when choosing a sportsbook in North America and the U.K. This report also highlights the importance of payments experience in player retention and sports bettors rising interest in digital wallets, eCash.

In November 2022, more than 2000 online sports gamblers from six states in the United States (Iowa and Louisiana), New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, New York, New York, Pennsylvania, and the Canadian province of Ontario participated in a survey that found 36% of them prioritized quick and easy payouts when selecting a sportsbook. Payouts were viewed as more important than brand trust (34%), chances (28% for both) and promotions (28%). For 27% of the bettors, preferred payment methods were important. They ranked this over sportsbooks’ sports markets or team sponsorships (11% each).

In Michigan, where the market launched in January 2021 and has a history of iGaming since 20+ years ago, players are more concerned about frictionless payouts than ever. In Ontario, however, brand trust is a major factor (prioritised at 39%), while payouts are second (35%).

Player retention is as important as the payment experience. 75% of bettors say that this is a key reason why they stay with a brand. New York’s iGaming market has 85% of its players giving payment consideration. This is a significant factor in customer loyalty.

The payment preferences of players continue to change, but the traditional method of payment for wagering is still preferred by 49%. This trend is likely due to the U.K. gambling regulators’ bans credit cards for iGaming. Debit card preferences have risen to 59% in both countries. Credit cards, despite these restrictions, were preferred payment method by 25% of players in New York (44%).

The alternative payment method (APM), of digital wallets, is more popular than credit card payments. 28% of players prefer a wallet. In Iowa, where credit cards cannot be used, this trend has reached as high as 45%. The popularity of digital wallets is highest among VIP or frequent bettors. A wallet is the preferred payment method for players who wager 5-7 times per week, alongside debit cards (both 41%). Bettors who wager 7+ times per week prefer a wallet to mobile wallets (33%), and credit cards (24%).

Other APMs such as eCash are also being adopted more frequently. 16% of players prefer this payment method to cash. This is especially true in the U.S. (18%) and New York (28%). Future demand is also strong with 53% saying that they would wager online more often if they could use eCash products.

Operators seem to be more concerned about players’ concerns regarding payment security. In 2021, 59% of players were more confident in transacting than they had been in 2021. Nevertheless, 30% of players are still undecided, and 11% less confident in the iGaming sector.

“Our research shows that operators must have a customer-friendly payment strategy in place to convert new players and keep existing ones. Operators stand to gain a competitive advantage in a highly competitive marketplace if they have a wide range of payment options, including digital wallets that support VIP players and eCash. This resonates with cash-focused customers who may prefer sticking to a budget when betting,” Zak Cutler (President of Global Gaming at Paysafe) said.

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