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Company research reveals payments play essential role in global sportsbooks’ customer acquisition and retention amid diversifying transactional preferences

Global online sports bettors prioritize rapid payouts and payment choice when starting their customer experience with sportsbooks, according to the 2024 All the Ways Players Pay research from Paysafe (NYSE: PSFE), a leading payments platform. Released today, the report also reveals that payments are just as valuable in strengthening the customer experience for players, whose appetite for digital wallets and even crypto payments is rising.

Showcasing Paysafe’s all-new brand identity, which the company recently unveiled, the report surveyed 3,000 sports bettors in six United States states (Massachusetts Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania), the Canadian province of Ontario, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy in December of 2023. The research found that streamlined payouts was players’ top factor when choosing a sportsbook (prioritized by 37%). They consider this more important than brand trust (34%), odds (29%), promotions (26%), user experience (17%), sports markets (15%) and sponsorships (10%).

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When selecting a sportsbook, players also prioritize their favorite payment methods’ availability (26%) and seamless deposits (26%) over every factor except brand trust, odds and promotions.

Payments are just as crucial for strengthening player retention with 78% of bettors considering the payment experience important in why they remain with a brand. This trends even higher in Italy (88%), New York (84%) and Germany (80%).

Bettors’ payment preferences continue to diversify. Debit cards remain the dominant choice globally (a preference of 38%) though this is being challenged by digital wallets (37%). Wallets are today the top payment preference in Italy (53%) and Germany (52%). And by facilitating wagering across multiple sportsbooks, digital wallets are a leading payment choice of VIP players with 46% of bettors wagering five to seven times weekly favoring a digital wallet versus 43% a debit card.

Credit cards’ overall popularity is limited by markets like the United Kingdom and the United States state of Massachusetts banning their use. Despite this, the preference for credit cards remains robust both globally (25%) and across the United States (also 25%) while in France they are the favorite payment method of all (47%).

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Interest in eCash remains niche but significant with 13% preferring online cash. This trends higher in countries with an enduring cash culture like Germany (16%) and the United States (16%).

Local payment methods (LPMs) available only in a single country are a preference of 13%, trending higher in the United States (17%) and Canada’s Ontario (17%) with their established LPM brands.

Confidence in the transactional security at sportsbooks continues to improve with 57% of players more confident than last year. However, there is no room for complacency with 10% less confident and 33% unsure.

Player adoption of digital wallets, eCash and other alternative payment methods (APMs) will likely grow with 58% of players expecting to use APMs more through to the end of 2025. And despite cryptocurrency market volatility, crypto payments appear attractive for players with 50% interested in this when permitted by regulators. This trends higher in the United States (58%) especially in New York (72%).

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“Our latest research clearly indicates the value of payments to online sportsbook operators at all stages of the player experience,” the Global Gaming President for Paysafe, Zak Cutler (pictured), said. “Operators that optimize their payment offering will gain a competitive advantage when starting their brand’s relationship with new bettors. Given the correlation between the payment experience and brand loyalty, operators can maximize player retention by getting payments right. This includes upgrading their cashiers to cover all possible payment choices to meet evolving transactional expectations.”

Paysafe is exhibiting at the ICE London 2024 conference (booth N5-220) from February 6 to 8, 2024.

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