Promoted content

How smart KYC can kill these three common problems

When it comes to igaming, friction is a dirty word. Players famously have some of the lowest tolerance for cumbersome ID checks out there, and a poor onboarding experience can see up to 45% of players drop off. Getting your sign-up experience wrong isn’t just a waste of your marketing spend – it puts you at a serious competitive disadvantage.

But there’s no way to avoid friction. Over recent years, increasingly strict regulation has called for more stringent security measures to ensure players are properly protected. New rules are complex, change quickly, and only look set to multiply in the coming months. Regulators might once have been lenient on those not meeting their KYC requirements, but the tide is turning fast and the consequences these days are crippling. Some companies are being put out of business by enormous non-compliance fines, to say nothing of the reputational damage done to other big brands.

So how to reconcile the two? Fundamentally, operators need to get smart about their KYC and other security processes. There’s no way out of your regulatory requirements – but there are ways you can make them work better for you. Instead of trying to avoid friction, optimise it. Here’s how:

Age verification

New age verification laws in the UK are going to mean major changes for the way operators onboard new players. At the moment, it’s possible to onboard users first and verify their age up to 72 hours later. By then, they’ve spent their cash. These new laws will mean age verification has to happen at the point of onboarding and inevitably, that adds friction.

The upside is that it encourages operators to be more diligent, and delivers greater protection to their platform and their players. If you’re adding in an ID record check anyway, why not go one further and do a document check, too? Adding a doc check can work wonders for your pass rate – especially when it comes to younger players who might not have enough of a footprint to appear on a credit database. Cascading to a doc check means you’ll see an uplift in the legitimate users you’re able to onboard, and adds greater assurance that they really are who they claim to be.

Responsible gambling

Identity verification doesn’t just help with age verification, though. It can be re-applied throughout your business to solve other problems, too.

One of those is problem gamblers. Thanks to recent initiatives like Gamstop, operators are now being required to take more responsibility for their players. That means if a problem gambler has asked that they no longer be allowed to bet, it’s your responsibility to stop them. But even if you block their account, there’s nothing to prevent them borrowing a friend or family member’s details and registering under a new name.

Here’s where identity verification can help. Ask users to perform a document and face check at the point of account opening, and you’ll be able to see if they really are the person they’re claiming to be. Onfido’s Previously Seen Faces database can also help identify when the same person has tried to open several accounts under different names.

Account takeover

The same goes for account takeover. Currently, operators will hold high-value payouts until they’ve performed a more through identity check on the user. That can take days, and making players wait to receive their winnings won’t endear you to them.  A document and face check at the point of withdrawal is quicker, more secure and takes less resource internally.

Another way to handle this is to collect the Identity data at the point of onboarding, but only trigger the checks when the user wins and wants to withdraw. It mean you’ve already got the information you need, and don’t have frustrate your players by adding friction later.


Husayn Kassai is CEO and co-founder of Onfido. Onfido helps businesses digitally onboard new users by verifying their government IDs and comparing them with their facial biometrics using machine learning. Founded in 2012, Onfido is now a team of 230, has received $60m in funding, and works with over 1,500 fintech, banking and sharing economy clients globally – helping them onboard more users while cutting costs and risk. Husayn has been named as one of Forbes’ ‘“30 Under 30”’, and as the World Economic Forum’s ‘Technology Pioneers’. Husayn sits on the Advisory Committee of the Oxford Seed Fund and the All Party Parliamentary Group on AI.

Husayn Kassai | KYC | Onfido | Promoted content