Payment Solutions for Gaming Markets and Beyond
As technology keeps developing at a breakneck pace and becoming more integrated into every aspect of life, the way finances work is changing along with everything else. This hasn’t gone as smoothly or as quickly as many imagined it would, but we are now seeing big breakthroughs with payment-sharing apps like Splitwise, and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Fantasy and Science Fiction authors have imagined alternate economic systems for some time and these no longer seem so very far off. PayPal paved the way for e-wallets, and many others have now followed. And new developments are constantly developing in both online and offline gaming markets too, as the latest partnership between Passport Technology and the European Casino Association (the ECA) shows.
While the primary impact of the ECA/Passport Technology team-up will, naturally, be felt in the United Kingdom and Europe, it has consequences that reach around the world – including in Canada. Living in a global village as we do these days means that what affects some of us usually affects all of us.
The new partnership means that Passport Technology will have access to all of the networking events that the ECA organises, meaning they will be able to network and extend their influences to many different areas.
With systems such as CashValet, that go a long way to prevent money laundering in land-based establishments, Passport Technology’s friendship should prove a real asset to the ECA, whose stated purpose is to develop and promote Europe’s robust offline casino industry. In turn, this acts as a serious economic driver.
Like Europe, Canada permits a fair amount of land-based gambling. It is allowed in one form or another across the country. Just as European gambling laws are regulated by different countries, and sometimes even by different jurisdictions within those countries, Canadian gambling laws are also regulated by province.
The situation in Canada is made a little more complex by the fact that, as in the USA, Native American tribes are getting involved in gambling. Even in the provinces where gambling is not strictly allowed, you’ll find casinos on First Nation reservations. If you are from another province, you can only gamble in other jurisdictions if an inter-provincial agreement is in place.
The other parallel between Canadian and European gambling is that offshore Internet gambling is permitted to a very large extent. What is different about them is that there is no counterpart to the ECA in Canada, and the regulatory bodies really do each stick to their own provinces. However, with similarly complicated gambling situations, Passport Technology could prove as helpful to the regulators of the offline Canadian gambling industry as they have already been to the ECA. Passport Technology is already an associate member of the international trade Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers, or AGEM, so it seems a natural collaboration.
The AGEM represents manufacturers of electronic game devices, systems and lotteries, as well as those who make gaming industry components. They work to further the interests of these groups around the world, and create benefits for them all. Any association that Passport Technology has with Canada could help them develop more anti money-laundering measures, more sophisticated payment solutions, responsible gambling initiative integration and overall stronger security.
What Does the Future Hold?
Partnership with Passport Technology is not the only way Canadian authorities could improve the experiences of gamblers in their country. Worldwide, future payment systems – some possibly closer to the world of science fiction and fantasy than you might think – will probably make things even simpler and more secure than they are now for all consumers, gamblers included. From biometric payments to chips implanted in our arms, the possibilities for payment solutions are endless; it’s just the application that needs to be worked out.
As mentioned above, it has taken some time for the technological payments industry to take off. Many of the companies who thought they would be major players, such as mobile network operators, have been side lined along the way, proving once again that there is always room for error.
Some predictions have come true, but not to the extent that was expected. For example, credit cards and banks have seen steady progress of contactless card payments but are being given a run for their money in the contactless game with mobile phone and Silicon Valley giants.
Contactless payments have not been without issues, but they have far outstripped the mobile phone payments that were meant to be so huge. This is mostly due to progress around Near-Field Communication, or NFC, which allows mobile phones and card readers within 20cm of each other to communicate. Mobile operators were in control of this for some time, and progress was slow. But now, with Apple, Samsung and other hardware heavyweights taking over, things should progress a lot faster.
Social bartering platforms such as Favabank allow users to trade different favours with each other, rather than exchanging money. This kind of idea is in its infancy in the digital space, but it does seem to be where the hearts of those wanting a kinder, less cutthroat world are heading. Will it work for land-based, online and mobile gaming, if it is adapted? Only time will tell.