Choose cashless gaming carefully, Okto chief warns

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Operators of land-based gaming venues should take care in choosing a partner for cashless gaming that understands the specifics of their industry.

Fintech company Okto’s Wallet’s commercial owner, Dimitar Shopov, notes the decline in the use of cash, internationally, and coincidentally the rise in digital and card payments. “The pandemic marks the real beginning of the end of cash in many mature markets, ushering the interest and urgency towards cashless systems.”

Shopov said that there were many factors at play in the cashless market: technology advances, measures from authorities and actions by big retailers who have already adopted digital payments as a safer method to maintain social distance. “Cashless systems have increasingly become the new norm, simply due to the fact that society demands it.”

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He illustrates the UK as a particularly fast adopter of cashless. The cash share of in-store transactions in the UK plummeted from 45 per cent in January to 23 per cent in July, 2020. What is demanded, he said, is a form of payment that is as convenient as cash and in his company’s Okto.Wallet he believes there is a solution.

“The UK was a natural fit for us to invest in this market, creating a powerful solution, designed to address the needs of the pub and adult gaming sector with the main mission to be the enhanced user experience. Okto.Wallet is safe and it is fast.

“At the end of the night, managers don’t have to count up endless piles of coins and transfer bags of cash to be lodged at the bank where there are additional charges to processing cash transactions.”

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He added: “I cannot see the crystal ball and make the prediction for further pandemic-related worries for cash-only businesses, but when you hear announcements from the World Health Organisation back in March, recommending people to turn to cashless transactions to fight the spread of Covid-19, quickly backed by governments and retailers, you can see the concern.

“This shift should not be under-estimated, as cashless transactions become the norm and rapidly impact niche industries like hospitality and gaming.”

Shopov noted that there are many cashless solutions on the market, but different digital solutions are better suited to certain sectors, he said.

“It is crucial for any operation to back the right horse. It is imperative to choose a reliable solutions partner and few providers are focusing on the nuanced needs of gaming operators, especially for land-based, which makes us unique in what we do.”

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