GBG In Conversation with Bess Matthews

Rebekah Jackson talks with Bess Matthews, Product Manager at GBG. They discuss how we developed the Affordability Solution to run alongside our current age, AML and identity verification checks so that gaming operators can undertake affordability checks without additional friction in customer experience.


Rebekah Jackson, GBG

Hi, thank you for joining us today. I'm here with Beth Matthews from GB G's product team best has been instrumental in the development work of GB G's new affordability solution. My name is Rebekah Jackson, and I'm a gaming expert here at GPG. Thanks for joining me today bass.

Bess Matthews, GBG

My pleasure. Thanks for having me.

RJ: So can you tell me and all of our viewers a bit more about GB G's affordability solution?

BM: Yeah, absolutely. So in a nutshell, what we're doing is helping responsible gaming operators protect vulnerable players from gambling beyond their means. We're seeing a lot about this in the news and from the industry in general and from our customers. So we have designed a solution which is meant to run alongside our current age verification AML and identity verification checks so that gaming operators can undertake affordability checks without having any additional friction in the customer experience and be able to take instant action based on really incredible granular affordability assessment.

RJ: What options are that available in the market and the minute for affordability and how do we at GBG decide on our solution?

BM: It's a great question and we heard a lot from our customers in terms of other options that they're looked at or processes that they're already undertaking today to do affordability assessment. I categorise these in sort of three different lots. So the first one being automated or self-administered options where operators might set a certain spending limit or block play up to a certain point, and while that can sort of do the job, it's quite a blunt approach.

The second law of checks that they might undertake are more manual. So that might be where they operated themselves are doing additional research on an individual looking at open sources. Or they might be asking the player for a document, which like a bank statement or a pay slip.

The third line, I would classify as technical capabilities where we come in, and we looked at, there are there are other solutions out there in the market, such as open banking, which again, might seem pretty intrusive on the part of the player or the network model, where operators might have to contribute some information. But that requires a high level of adoption across the industry to be successful. So it might be a little bit early days.

So we chose a combination of using both public and individual affordability indicators which can be set up as a layered approach which offers little to no friction on the part of the player and still provides instant insight to the operator. And that can be configured and waited to fit within the operator’s affordability approach or processes. And all the results are completely transparent and held in GBG as audit trail alongside their identity verification or AML checks they might be undertaking today with us.

RJ: It sounds really interesting and you make really valid points about the solutions that are currently on the market and the questions that surround them on whether they're fit for purpose. What do you think that operators can expect from GBG's affordability solution to make it viewed more fit for purpose?

BM: So we have built flexibility into our solution meaning that operators can choose the types of checks that they want to run across both the public or individual affordability indicators. And you know, at the right point within their customer journey and based on their own risk approach. So with the different levels of checks that we have, they can choose to run them independently. And those include Geo-affordability, and individual affordability indicators, plus income verification.

So for our current customers who might be using GBG. Today, it's just a case of essentially switching on these additional checks and putting them in at the right point within their processes. And for new customers. The affordability checks are all part of one integration. So that can be done seamlessly by API within the operators’ website.

RJ: You a development point of view, you make it sound really, really easy and simple, I guess. One of the questions that I have actually is around what playing data does the operator see from GBG?

BM: It's a really good question. And I think what's most important to us is privacy and data security being our number one priorities. So the results that we actually return within the solution are high level indicators or red amber or green flags. Depending on the results that come back all the different categories that are being assessed.

The individual financial data or transactions are never revealed about a player. So it's just about verifying either potential issues or verifying a certain level of income without providing any specific details. Seems like the point you make on the flanks and not providing that specific detail I guess there's been so much consideration going into the development that what has been the process for developing the affordability solution overall.

So we have worked with one of the top UK credit bureaus as our data partner for this information that underpins the affordability solutions. They already offer this product to the Financial Services market. So they brought a lot of their own experience and knowledge to the process.

And throughout the process, we have had a lot of customer engagement with various operators and have also done a few proof of concepts to ensure that the information that we're getting from these solutions provides our customers with what they need to conduct affordability assessment in a really seamless way in a way that fits with their current processes. We've also been engaged with the regulator to share information through our development process and sense check that it fits with their thinking on how operators can undertake or what options they might have available to undertake affordability checks.

RJ: I think it's an interesting point of operators assessing the options that are available to them at the minute. But I guess in your opinion, why would operators take an affordability solution? Now when it's not currently regulated?

BM: It's a good question. I think that to some degree, though, their processes or the expectations aren't completely prescriptive. We are already seeing it in some of the language from the code provision of the LCCP towards the end of last year and also from additional guidance that came through as a result of COVID-19 so even though the processes within that guidance hasn't necessarily been really prescriptive, I think the expectation has been set.

And in terms of protecting individuals from gambling related harm, that continues to be a key priority for the regulator. So there's definitely an expectation that there's more to come. And we've heard that same message from our customers as well. So they are looking for options to ensure that they are participating with responsible gaming and keeping players safety really front of mind. I think too many, it would appear that it's probably only a matter of time before more regulation comes. So by working looking at affordability options today. You know, operators have the opportunity to get ahead of the curve.

RJ: Absolutely agree. Let's not wait for regulation and let's start protecting them. These players from harm. Thanks so much for giving us your insight. And really appreciate you joining us today and I hope to catch up with you soon.

BM: Thanks so much Rebekah.

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