GMB - Tell us about the services provided by MuchBetter in relation to the gaming market. In which markets do you operate and who are the company’s main clients today?
Jens Bader - The MuchBetter app was purpose-built for the online gaming industry and directly integrates with Gaming Operators to offer a true alternative to existing e-money payment products. It is available as an app for Android and iOS, which users can download, sign up to and then fund their e-money account – all within minutes.
The app was built by gaming and payment experts from the industry and is designed to address operators’ major pain points. Such is the strength of this proposition that we’ve been able to integrate more than 20 large gaming clients worldwide in our first six months, including reputable names such as Finnplay, iGaming Cloud and Royal Panda. Naturally being a young company based in Europe, this has been our main market to date. However, MuchBetter is also fully functional in other regions too including Brazil, where we have local deposit methods, local currency support and local language. We are having a lot of conversations with Brazilian organisations in particular, and see tremendous market opportunity here.
What differentiates you from your competition?
The approach of MuchBetter is unusual in a number of ways, but this all stems from the fact that it was founded by the gaming industry, for the gaming industry. Typically, wallets are more beneficial to customers than operators, in a scenario that often presents operators with specific problems when dealing with wallet payments. We are different.
Actions such as funding the wallet in real-time, moving money easily into and out of gaming accounts, using an attached prepaid card to use the account anywhere etc. are all customer-centred benefits. MuchBetter is the first payment wallet in gaming that has taken operator interests into focus. We have a fairer and more transparent commercial model, to counteract the negative commercial effect from money churn. MuchBetter’s product design and architecture eliminates the typical fraud patterns and cases you see with other wallets too. Customer data is shared in a sensible and highly effective way to help operators gain more transparency, and support their compliance and transactional integrity. Operators can also use MuchBetter as a tool in their risk management and fraud prevention measures.
MuchBetter has also been engineered considering the vast regulatory changes that affect the gaming and the payments world. Our payments service provides data points that support operators being compliant with AML4/5. The world is talking about open APIs now, but we had anticipated a data and information sharing approach already when we built the product. We don’t just talk about it, we have it live and working.
From the end user’s perspective, MuchBetter is also a super convenient alternative to other wallets. It is fully-mobile, there are no passwords or security questions to remember, or forget for that matter. Users simply need to use their fingerprint. MuchBetter also comes with a free prepaid card, and because of its use of dynamic CVV, users don’t have to worry about losing their card or having it stolen, which eliminates account-take-over scenarios.
How did you evaluate the recent edition of ICE Totally Gaming? Was is positive for the company?
ICE was a tremendous success for MuchBetter. We had dozens of meetings at the stand, and that’s not including impromptu drop-bys and chance meetings with various connections from years gone by. In a few months, we’ll look back at new deals and partnerships that were started or cemented at ICE, so watch this space.
You have done an important job to get closer to the Brazilian market. What motivates you to offer your services in the country? Have you sized up the business opportunity?
Brazil has always been a market of interest for gaming. We are aware that the regulatory framework is not yet developed but anticipated to be introduced within the next 12 months. With its large population and fast growing digital commerce, Brazil is of immediate interest to any B2C payment scheme that looks for scale. We have a great product which is localized to the highest levels. It allows anyone in Brazil to sign-up to an account within minutes, after which they can use the app in any sort of payment situation, online, offline or just sending money to friends for free.
As you know, Brazil has not legalized gaming yet. Does this situation affect MuchBetter’s operation there? Do you work with customers or users in Brazil anyway?
We are aware that the regulatory efforts are ongoing, but still at an early stage. We follow the developments very closely and we want to be ready if and when the market opens up. As a payments scheme, we need to build the network of merchants accepting MuchBetter just as we need to build up the customer side. This takes time and there is no harm in starting early, by introducing our app to Brazilian customers now.
Recently, Neteller stopped offering its service in Brazil ... how did you take the news and why do you think this happened?
We can’t really comment on the reasons that led Neteller to take that decision to leave the Brazilian market. They must have had their reasons obviously. We are pretty insensitive to what competition we face. After their departure, the market needs to identify new solutions and products. I am certain this creates a number of good opportunities. For us as much as for other payment companies.
Do you have plans to come to Brazil to promote a stronger penetration campaign or open a dialogue with authorities?
We want to approach this opportunity in the right way. We believe in transparency and, as such, opening a dialogue with the stakeholders in the market is definitely a valid approach. We will take the same diligence with our setup in Brazil as we have taken when building and localising the product for Brazilian customers. We see this as a long-term opportunity that we want to build up in a sustainable way, not a short-term capitalisation triggered by a movement in the market.
Source: Exclusive GMB