Since its humble beginnings as a retail bookmaker in 1994, Parimatch has adapted significantly to betting’s digital growth to emerge as the sole company in the CIS region to offer unique credit card payment methods, becoming a market leader in its own right. As the industry faces a new wave of payment progress Nick Izmaylov, the company’s Managing Partner, explores the impact of payment consolidation, the growth of “invisible” authorisation and the coming payment method revolution.
Following the replacement of its physical footprint with a digital platform when the company moved online in 2000, 95% of Parimatch’s revenue streams are now derived digitally causing them to adapt payment methods in innovative ways. “Secure and reliable payment methods are a key value driver for our growth, which is why we take a bespoke approach for each market we operate in,” explained Izmaylov. “For example, when I joined the company seven years ago, there was no local credit card processing in most of the CIS countries. International solutions like Safecharge or Wirecard were not an effective solution. The only way I could see us gain market share was to create a payment method which would allow us to accept payment from a customer’s credit card. So that’s exactly what we did! Now, Parimatch is the only company that has such a unique payment solution, allowing us to become a market leader in the region.”
As operators continue to develop their digital presence and expand their reach into new international markets, Parimatch continues to adapt its focus to enhance its partners’ relationships with online payments processors as the company foresees significant changes on the horizon. Izmaylov said: “It is impossible for multinational brands to operate the same way in each country it has a presence in. We predominantly operate in the CIS and Eastern Europe market, and cannot adopt the same product and payment approach in Kazakhstan as in Belarus or any other neighbouring country, for example. The same applies to online payments companies and processors. They might be suitable for five, six or maybe even ten markets, but not for all. Some markets only work by partnering with aggregation modules which means that you are working with completely different companies and technologies.”
“The payment sector has developed as a result of growth in related industries,” he continued. “Payment companies need to keep up with innovation in the industries and markets which it supports. The payment sector has experienced its revolutions; my favourites are the creation of Visa and MasterCard payment systems – both from an administrative and technological point of view and the creation of SWIFT – from an administrative point of view. The payment method sector is on the cusp of its next revolution, with the integration of Blockchain technology into database systems, such as via Government, Tax, loan histories, PS bases, etc. I believe this revolution will increase the level of operational transparency, which can only be a positive thing.”
In its early days, betting online was seen as high risk with regards to security, processing fees and third-party methods, but the investment into payments by companies like Parimatch has allowed more security, reliability and confidence for players and operators alike. “Payment methods players are using when betting online is now just as safe as any classical payments when carried out with a respected platform,” stated Izmaylov. “The level of compliance required to obtain relevant licenses helps to uphold industry standards around financial security. At Parimatch we hold more than ten licenses, all with high standards of regulations, ensuring there is no risk with our own, or our third-party suppliers’, payment systems.”
As the revolution Izmaylov predicts beckons with industry consolidation a possibility as big betting players enter new markets and major global brands testing the waters of how partnerships across countries can benefit them, Parimatch is confident it will be at the vanguard of coming trends. Commenting on which factors or technology will have the biggest impact on online payments going into 2020 and beyond, Izmaylov concluded: “Online payments are, in its essence, the process of transferring funds from one person – the customer, to another – the vendor. The most significant impact technology will have on the automation of the authorization of the customer. At the moment, payment companies are doing a considerable amount of manual work regarding AML, KYC and this is having an impact on the level of service provided to the customer. This is why I think that the most vital competition among industry players will be in the field of “invisible” compulsory authorization procedures.”