Experian has launched the first affordability check for gaming websites, which will assist in ensuring people gamble affordably. The affordability check can be made at the most appropriate point for customers, such as when there is a change in their account behaviour or specific behaviour may indicate an increased risk.
A total of £5.4 billion was gambled remotely, mostly online, in the UK in the year to March 20181. Until now, gaming organisations have been unable to take in to account what people can afford to stake. A modest wager for one customer could be an entire month’s disposable income for another.
Once a customer has given their permission, Experian’s Open Banking service allows gaming companies to understand a person’s disposable income, their weekly income and expenditure, and how much they spend with other gambling websites. The Rank Group (Rank) is one such operator keen to explore the benefits Experian’s Open Banking service may deliver in terms of better understanding and managing customer risk. Rank will embark upon a proof-of-concept trial of the service, launching in the next few weeks.
Gaming companies may also work with specific customers to assist in setting rules whereby customers only spend what they can afford to, limiting the risk of gambling related harm. Customers can be automatically accepted, declined or referred to their in-house responsible gambling team to help manage their spending.
The FCA granted Experian permission to offer Open Banking and PSD2-related services in June. With a customer’s consent, Experian can use current account information to help organisations understand which products and services will be most suitable.
Tom Blacksell, Managing Director of B2B at Experian, said: “Innovative Open Banking services can help the gaming industry to protect its customers from problem gambling. People who choose to share data can prove they are gambling at a level they can afford, while gaming companies can meet their responsibilities to keep customers safe.
“Experian is already in discussions with a handful of the biggest gaming companies in the UK, who can see the importance of this affordability check. It is one of many new services we are working on to bring the benefits of data sharing to businesses and their customers.”
Rank’s Director of Customer Diligence, Rory Howard, commented: “Rank Group welcomes this initiative. It’s a fantastic opportunity for gaming organisations to work collaboratively with an organisation such as Experian which is licensed to use Open Banking. The automated exchange of data in association with advanced analytics will enable us to help our customers gamble within their means.”