The iGaming Show EP 17 - (The Importance Of Instant Payments In iGaming With Sam Kawsarani)

The iGaming Show EP 17 - (The Importance Of Instant Payments In iGaming With Sam Kawsarani) cover

The iGaming Show EP 17 - (The Importance Of Instant Payments In iGaming With Sam Kawsarani)

June 12, 2024

In this episode of The iGaming Show, we explore why instant payments are not just a convenience but a necessity for players and operators.

Guest: Sam Kawsarani, Vice President of Product Management at Paramount Commerce

The iGaming Show, presented by Paramount Commerce, is a podcast that will analyze gaming industry trends with experts from various gaming organizations.

Please like, comment, and share this video. Also, stay up to date with our content by subscribing to our YouTube channel.

Full episode transcript:

Varad Mehta: Hello everyone, and welcome to the 17th episode of The iGaming show presented by Paramount Commerce. I’m your host, Varad Mehta, and in this podcast, we analyse gaming industry trends with experts from various gaming organisations. Before we begin today’s podcast, I want to share some exciting news with everyone. The Paramount Commerce team will be exhibiting at the 2024 Canadian Gaming Summit. So if you love talking about iGaming, sports betting and payments, then please come by booth A130 and say hi to our team. The event is happening from June 18 to the 20th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. In today’s episode, we’ll be exploring how instant payments are enhancing the iGaming and sports betting experience with Sam Kawsarani, the Vice President of Product Management at Paramount Commerce. So without further ado, let’s get the show rolling. So Sam, how we always begin this podcast is by asking our guest a few fun questions. So I had three lined up for you. The first one is, what’s the coolest thing you’ve seen while diving?

Sam Kawsarani: It’s a good question. I’ve been diving for a while and my fascination lately has been cave diving. I like history. And the coolest thing, but also a fun story because one of the dives, someone said, you gotta go do the Godzilla room and you’re gonna see some cool stuff. So I went into this cave dive. And after an hour, diving turned out to be just a small Godzilla statue put in a rock. But it’s think the expectation versus reality going in. So I would say like, that was cool thing because it was part of a historical cave dive. There’s a lot of history in that cave. So the fact that it was like a small Godzilla toy just somewhere on the rock, that was funny.

VM: That’s cool.Was it like a touristy thing?

SK: No. It is more that the cave diving community kind of thought it would be cool to name that path the Godzilla path. And then I was like, oh, let’s just put a toy of Godzilla there. You know, like you would it like, cave’s history is like, oh, there’s probably some, I don’t know, fossils from or something, right? That’s the expectation. I went in, it’s like a thousand-year cave, but then you end up seeing a plastic toy.

VM: I like that. I like that. My second question for you is, what importance does Crossfit have in your life? And what is something important that it has taught you?

SK: For me, it’s more like my personal sanity. It’s one of the few personal time blocks that I have. I have an 18-month-old at home, and between being a family person, work, I think that’s the block that I have for myself. I do it mostly for kind of mental health and physical health overall. So there’s not necessarily any lessons learned. It’s just maybe besides taking care of yourself.

VM: Love it, love it. And last but not least, as you are a product leader, a leader, an entrepreneur, I’d love to ask you, what movie would you recommend every aspiring entrepreneur to watch? I had like four, I have four recommendations, but I’d love to know what you would recommend.

SK: Nothing goes to. I would love to hear your suggestion. Then I’ll see if I can go with them or not.

VM: They’re weird. Google showed these and I was like, yeah, that makes sense. So I had Social Network, I had The Founder, one of my favourites. It’s not about like entrepreneurship, but it’s called The Pursuit of Happiness. Kind of shows you the hustle side of things. And then you have Moneyball, which is, I’m not sure, but yeah, I had these four lined up.

SK: I think The Social Network, if I go for like, nothing comes to mind outside those, those suggestions right now, but The Social Network makes more sense. It kind of walks you through the whole story of Facebook, technically, and all the pitfalls that you can have as an entrepreneur, including potentially screwing over your partners. Some lessons learned there. Uh, definitely, uh, I would kind of add it to the list of, uh, I wouldn’t say that it’s the movie you have to watch, but probably something you want to kind of watch. It’s an interesting story.

VM: Okay, there we go. We have a recommendation from an expert, a leader from the field. Now going to the topic of discussion, we’re here to talk about instant payments. And they’re link with the iGaming and sports betting industries. So my first question is that why are instant payments becoming so important for the success of online gaming merchants?

SK: It’s a good question. Right. So the best way to answer is to look at the trends in the market, right from a consumer perspective. Consumers and kind of the modern players, if you want to call that, are demanding in general, like any consumer in this market is demanding faster, efficient and seamless transactions, especially with the way technology is moving forward. And if you look at a competitive market, providing instant payments can become a crucial differentiator in a way that can attract or even retain your players. Right. You want access to your winnings immediately. You don’t want that delay, which can cause frustration, bad customer service, people calling your support team. “Where’s my money?” So reducing kind of their engagement and loyalty can become an issue when you don’t have that experience overall. So if you look at it from a pure user experience, it’s part of the features or functionality that you want to have to ensure a smooth and satisfying user experience.

VM: And do you think that user experience plays a big role in making customers stick to a specific platform? Like how do they influence the behaviour and engagement of a player on a merchant platform?

SK: It comes down to friction, right? So ideally you want a frictionless experience. People are usually sensitive with money, and if you’re putting money in and you’re making some winnings, you want to be able to take it out. And that kind of, if you’re going to be jumping through hoops to put your money in or even take your money out, which is the most important part as well, that can influence how things move forward, right? If it’s going to take you three days to get your winnings versus, oh, I can get them instantly through this, through this gaming merchant that can play a bit. Just think about it in your daily life, right? Just put payments on pause for a bit and you’re more likely to come back to a service or a tool or provider that gives you a better user experience overall. And that should not be very different. It’s actually more important than payments to focus on that user experience, to kind of have less friction, better experience, the convert and retain over time.

VM: And I like that you mentioned that, you know, having instant payments is important, but I think also highlighting that instant payments that have, like, you know, a really good security measure behind them are also beneficial for players and merchants. So can you also talk about how, you know, instant payments kind of enhance security for players and merchants and how they kind of compare to traditional payment methods such as, you know, credit card or something like that?

SK: Yeah. So with the nature of instant payments, you kind of have to do fraud and risk detection on the fly somehow. You need to make sure that the person who put the money in the first place is the same person that’s taking that money out of your account. Right? It’s not like I funded the money with my mom’s account and now I’m taking it to my cousins, right? So there is that kind of part of the verification you have to do. So with the nature of instant payouts, you can have to build security and fraud detection as part of your solution. Not like, hey, let’s just kind of figure it out after or we’ll flag it later, like the payment is going to land in that consumer’s account immediately. So you got to think about that, how you embed that as part of solution. So whether it’s the encryption of the whole experience and kind of making sure your data layer and kind of that connection between your bank or the gaming merchant is secure all the way to ensuring that you’re meeting AML regulations, you’re meeting iGO regulations, and anything else along that journey.

So if you look at Ontario or other areas that are regulated, you need to make sure that the person getting the money is the person matches the name, matches the email, etcetera. So your solution needs to capture all of that, because once the money lands in their account, it’s there. But if you start looking down the road of RTR and real time payments, you have to kind of build that in your design of a solution like that.

VM: Yeah, that’s cool. And I think even from like a non-payments perspective, even when you have like, you know, live betting or in-game bets, how do like, payments kind of make that experience better as well? Like how do they make that customer experience for like, you know,live sports betting or in-game bets better and how do they kind of encourage repeat business?

SK: That’s a good question. So if you can look at it from four layers, if you want to call it, kind of come to mind. So based on the trends we just talked about, so speed and convenience, right? So players do enjoy that convenience of having immediate access to your fund, which kind of aligns with the user experience that I just told you about, that seamless gaming experience. And then there’s that psychological, I guess, positive reinforcement aspect of it, like instant gratification for your quick withdrawals. You made a win, you’re able to get that money quickly, you’re able to kind of get that gratification. Realise that gratification or positive reinforcement here, so it allows you psychologically, I guess, to continue using the same platform and coming back to it just because you’re seeing that convert faster. It’s not necessarily the gaming merchant is kind of arbitraging that. It’s just more of that experience. Like, oh, I won, I was able to take my money out. I see the funds in my bank account, like, oh, okay, cool, I’m going to come back and play again. So that positive feeling is reinforced. So that’s two. Trust and confidence is a crucial part, especially in payments and especially in gaming as well. So knowing that your platform that you’re using, or the game gaming merchant you’re using is providing you quick and secure transactions builds that trust factor, so makes it more likely to return as a consumer versus someone who’s going to, hey, wait five days for the funds to arrive. So there’s that aspect of it. And finally, competitive advantage. I know it is becoming a theme for a lot of gaming merchants to implement that. So if you don’t have that notion of instant payouts, you’re probably going to be losing that competitive advantage against other merchants who will have that. So ability cannot to set yourself apart from a solution like that. People don’t want slower, more traditional payment methods. They want to make faster integrated with their bank account. And you can instantly see those results.

VM: See, there you go. If you have good payment solutions, people will always return to your platform.

You heard it from the expert himself. And my last question, Sam, is what are some new payment trends from your perspective, that are going to be a game changer in the Canadian gaming market? This could apply for merchants, regulators. But what are you excited about in the payment space?

SK: Coming straight from Payments Canada and just being a nerd when it comes to AI, I think AI, and I mean AI has been there for a while, but if you look at Gen AI and how it’s going to be used in payments, when we look at ISO 20022 coming down the road, there’s a lot of kind of that marriage when you add it with payments as a product, so, and mostly at the fraud level, right. As technology evolves, fraudsters evolve with it. So I’m curious to see how AI and machine learning will evolve to keep up with the trends and prevent that fraud. That’s one. And then the rise of bank-to-bank or account-based payments continues to rise, right. Especially when you look at the current economic trends, defaults on credit cards are on the rise. So more folks are relying on spending the money they have versus the money that they don’t have. So if you look at responsible gaming coming down the road, do you really want people to put money in with their credit cards versus the money that they actually have? So that is on the rise. And so that kind of brings with it mobile payments and kind of more biometric authentication through the mobile apps that you have to. I mean, these are things we have right now, but you’re going to see more increase in that trend with that kind of change in psychological behaviour or consumer behaviour on spending and payments overall. Crypto will always kind of continue to be popular in gaming. And I think for those who are hedging in this market with crypto, we’ll probably see them use more crypto for this more faster, secure, potentially anonymous transaction. Although anonymous doesn’t count here because a lot of merchants have to comply with AML and KYC. So I think these shares some of the things I’m looking forward to. But if I were to highlight maybe one, it’s the AI side of things and how it’s going to improve overall payment experience, but most importantly, fraud, kind of preventing minimising risk in the space.

VM: Love it. Love it. Thank you Sam for joining us today. This has been fun. I hope whoever listens to this episode can learn a lot. And yeah, there’s so much interesting things happening within the Canadian gaming space as well as what Sam mentioned. There’s just so much happening in the payment space as well that it’s so important to know the importance behind instant payments. Everything that’s kind of happening with consumer-driven banking, the real-time rail and the dates kind of assigned with that and what’s happening in the gaming space as well. So thank you Sam for kind of explaining why instant payments are important. And yeah, hope everyone can learn something from this episode.

SK: Thanks for having me Varad.

VM: From enhancing the player experience to combating fraud, instant payments have become the backbone of iGaming and sports betting platforms. I want to thank Sam Kawsarani, the Vice president of Product Management at Paramount Commerce, for joining us today, providing his expertise. If you have any questions for us or Sam,then please do comment down below. Again, I’d like to mention that the Paramount Commerce team will be exhibiting at the 2024 Canadian Gaming Summit. So if you love to talk about iGaming, sports betting and payments, please come by booth A130 and meet our team. The event is happening from June 18th to the 20th at the MetroToronto Convention Centre. Also, Paramount Commerce is sponsoring sponsoring the official networking party of the Canadian Gaming Summit. To learn more about this, please visit our website: If you enjoyed today’s podcast, then don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Thank you so much for tuning into The iGaming show presented by Paramount Commerce. I’m your host, Varad Mehta. And until next time, keep gaming.

A Football player dashes down the field with the ball weaving through opposing team members

Ready to integrate payments?

Chat with our team of payment specialists.

Contact us