Mobile Gambling, the importance of going mobile

As ICE Totally Gaming, the largest, most comprehensive and international B2B gaming exhibition in the world approaches, now is the time to look at the iGaming space, and the importance of moving across to mobile for marketing and payments.

Statistics show us that operators offering services across mobile and desktop see 50% of their customers using both to play, with 30% using only their handsets. We also know that the amount of gambling related search queries from mobile handsets has seen huge growth in recent years.

According to research by Gaming Club, the mobile gambling market it set to be worth more than $100 billion by 2017, due to the growth in smartphone use, allowing for easier access on the go.

Along with the improved experience for end-users, the growth in mobile gambling also offers a number of benefits to operators. With players always available to connect, a strong communication strategy can bring them onto the mobile site or app at any time, allowing for timely marketing, based around external events or internal offers.

Mobile Messaging for iGamingBefore mobile devices grew in popularity, when end-users accessed online games only on their desktops, the methods of communication that reached them where they played, were online advertising, website and email. Now that users are on mobile, they can be reached by far more communication methods, where they play, including SMS messaging, which has far higher open and response rates than email.

It takes 90 minutes for the average person to respond to an email, but just 90 seconds for the average person to respond to a text message. SMS is a seriously powerful tool for communicating with customers. Gambling operators that don’t take advantage of this, miss out on potentially regular communication with players, direct to their handsets.

Direct Mobile Billing for GamingAs well as marketing, another way to take advantage of the growth in mobile gambling is through the increased conversion rates of mobile payments. As customers use smaller screens on their mobiles compared to desktop, entering credit card details can be fiddly. Mobile payments are simple, fast and don’t result in as many drop-offs.

Michael Greenberg, txtNation’s NBDO for iGaming commented “Mobile gambling and gaming has gone from niche to mainstream in a relatively short amount of time. If recent figures are anything to go by, we have even more growth to look forward to, but more importantly, to prepare for.”

txtNation will be exhibiting at ICE Totally Gaming at ExCeL London, 4th – 6th February at stand N12-252. If you would like to book a meeting with us, please contact us.

iGaming

As ICE Totally Gaming approaches, one of the biggest topics in mobile gaming is customer loyalty and retention. Mobile billing and mobile messaging can play a big part in making sure your customers return.

Running 4th-6th February at ExCeL, London, ICE Totally Gaming is the largest and most comprehensive trade event in gaming. As exhibitors at the event, txtNation are an established and trusted provider of mobile billing and messaging solutions in the gambling and gaming space.

Mobile Billing for Loyalty
By offering customers the opportunity to pay by mobile, you are improving their overall experience, making them more likely to come back again. The simple payment flows, as shown below in our slideshow reduces the amount of time spent in the purchasing process. This also increases the conversion rate for initial signups.

Mobile payments for mobile gambling offers many benefits over other forms of payment. Where direct operator billing is available, conversion rates can be as high as 85%, whereas credit card conversion rates can drop down to as low as 7% on mobile. Gambling operators offering the option of mobile payments can also pick up non-credit card customers who would like to play.

Mobile Messaging for Customer Retention
SMS Messaging is a powerful communication tool. Many gambling operators are seeing the benefits of using it to keep a constant flow of communication with their customers. Recent statistics show that 50% of gambling players play on their mobiles, so communicating to them via their handsets is the way to reach them directly.

Text messages have high open rates, with over 90% of SMS messages read and response rates of 15-30%.

As a way of driving customer retention, SMS can be used for notifications of offers or events, leading the end-user back to the website or app. In-app messaging can be used to keep customers informed about relevant news, directly from the application.

To discuss how mobile billing and messaging can benefit your business, or if you are attending ICE Totally Gaming and would like to arrange a meeting, please contact us.

 

2013 : Mobile Billing and Mobile Marketing

As expected by many, 2013 has seen a huge increase in the number of smartphones in use across the world, as well as more people using their handsets to access the internet. This has had an impact on the mobile billing and messaging industries, with a growing need to expand into more and more markets throughout the year.

Recent research by eMarketer suggests that there are now 30.9m smartphone users in the UK, which is over 60% of all mobile users. According to research reported in Marketing Magazine earlier in the year, over 50% of the global population accesses mobile internet at least once a week, with 35% using it daily.

Global Coverage
With a finger firmly on the pulse of the industry, txtNation made some big steps forward, catering to the growing demand. 2013 has seen txtNation expand its global reach, with direct connectivity in Switzerland and Belgium and the launch of 4T Mobile Payments in Denmark.

As mobile billing becomes more and more popular in the United Kingdom, Payforit released version 4 of its payment solution. In November, it was announced that version 4.4 would be released, with a number of changes to improve the customer experience. As a brand, Payforit has made an impact, with consumer trust growing, which can only be a good thing for businesses that accept mobile payments in the UK.

As txtNation expanded globally in its coverage, a number of new appointments in relevant markets were made. Matt Barbieri, joined as Territory Manager for Africa, Andrew Rippon as Territory Manager for the Middle East and most recently, Hans Tjolle was appointed Territory Manager for Benelux.

External Changes
During quarter 3 of 2013, it was announced that mobile networks in Ireland would be blocking any off-net or foreign traffic. This has looked to become a trend throughout other countries too, which is bad news for those offering low quality messaging routes, but better for businesses in the long run, as they will have less chance of working with aggregators who offer these cheaper options.

In the summer, Sweden’s WyWallet scrapped its registration process, as it looked to improve the customer journey and increase conversion rates. Mobile payments in the Nordics has been healthy over the last year, with the networks really working hard to build consumer trust.

In the United States, new regulations came into force from the Mobile Network Operators, stopping charges for premium SMS, meaning businesses can no longer use PSMS as a solution for monetizing services in the USA. This came into effect in November of this year.

For txtNation, 2013 was a big year, as not only did we reach our 10th birthday, following our growth from a bedroom business in 2002, but we also expanded, by acquiring South Africa and UK based 24G Media. We launched USSD menus and released our next generation control panel, MytxtNation.

Calvinayre.comMobile Payments for iGaming
Gaming and Gambling is one industry that has shown a lot of recent growth on mobile, and mobile payments has, in 2013, become a talking point for many operators. This year, txtNation attended many gaming and gambling specific events, including EiG Totally Gaming in Barcelona, Mobile Marketing Magazine’s Mobile Gaming and Gambling Summit, mGaming Summit, Social Gaming Summit and Mobile and Tablet Gambling Summit, where our CEO, Michael Whelan was interviewed by Rebecca Liggero of Calvin Ayre.com about mobile payments.

2013 Awards and Achievements
This year saw us nominated for the Effective Mobile Marketing Awards in the ‘Best m-commerce solution’ category for our flagship ‘plug-and-pay’ billing solution JunglePay. We were named among Top 50 Mobile Innovators by Mobile Entertainment Magazine and nominated in the ‘Best Mobile Payments Company’ category in the Mobile Entertainment Awards as well as numerous others.

Mobile has grown in importance in 2013, with many businesses seeing the need to optimise the full user journey, from marketing and website to payment process. We have seen some exciting stories develop in mobile payments, with Buy Game Credit enabling Xbox players to purchase points via their handsets, and mobile dating site BeFlirty seeing a huge increase in revenue following their integration of Payforit with txtNation.

If you would like to discuss mobile billing and mobile messaging with us, to help your business increase profits in 2014, please contact us.

Our latest infographic features valuable information on mobile billing for mobile gambling. This year has seen a rise in gambling on mobile phones, with many operators seeing the need for a seamless payment solution, like mobile payments.

coverage commercials and regulation

As you can see from the above, online gambling has almost reached the popularity of land-based gambling. Below you can see our slideshare presentation, explaining the above.

 

 

Read more about our mobile billing solution for mobile gaming and gambling.

Defined as online gaming around social interaction, social gaming has grown hugely in the past year. More recently, this has become themed around slots, bingo and other forms of gambling, without using real money, but instead forms of credits. As a signal of the importance of this market, txtNation attended the Social Gambling & Gaming Summit in London this week.

Discussions at the summit focused around whether social gaming and gambling should be regulated in the same way as online gambling (for real money). The major difference between regular gambling and social gaming is that users purchase virtual currency to play, but can’t win money.

Other topics included an emphasis on mobile and tablet and a need for strategies for engaging customers through those channels for acquisition and retention. This means operators are more and more aware of the need for mobile strategies including payments and messaging. It was commented at the show that one of the merchants had seen their best acquisition results from SMS marketing.

Duncan Morton, txtNation’s Account Manager attended the summit and commented “It was a great opportunity to discuss important topics surrounding social gaming and gambling with a real cross-section of the market, from regulators to developers and advertisement. We were also able to hear from power players in the social gaming, including Facebook.”

To find out how mobile messaging and mobile billing can be used with social gaming and social gambling, contact us or visit our gaming and gambling solution page.

We’ve often discussed the need for a seamless payment solution for mobile gambling, but recent discussions at gambling industry events have also centred around the use of bulk SMS for marketing for customer acquisition.

Here are five reasons why mobile gambling operators should be using bulk SMS to promote their services and acquire new customers.

  1. Players are increasingly on mobile: Mobile is becoming more and more important for gambling operators, with recent statistics showing 50% of players use mobile to play. 30% of players are only using their mobiles to play, completely moving away from desktop or laptop.
  2. High open rates: Simply put, end users read text messages. As players are actively moving to mobile devices to gamble, the marketing solution must be the most effective solution for mobile if operators are to keep up with the trend. In the UK, 72% of emails are opened on desktop meaning email isn’t effective enough for mobile marketing. Over 90% of SMS messages are read, making it a seriously powerful communication tool.
  3. High response rates: With response rates of 15-30% SMS is a strong method of evoking action from end users. On top of that, users are already in the ideal position to use mobile gambling services- they are using their mobile handsets. This cuts the journey, giving a better user experience.
  4. Seamless customer experience: With an SMS message linking to a mobile site and a mobile payment option, customers need not leave their handset, allowing for a quick and easy experience from awareness to action.
  5. Cost-effective marketing: SMS messages are cheap to write, send and track. There is no physical waste and with an HLR lookup, campaigns can be even more cost-effective, eliminating the unnecessary costs of dead numbers and location issues.

Social Gambling & Gaming SummitOn 21st November 2013, txtNation will be exhibiting at the Social Gambling & Gaming Summit in London. This is the fourth annual summit and focuses on the intersection of casino-style social games, virtual goods, mobile gaming and the bridge between mainstream social gambling and gaming.

As a provider of mobile messaging and billing solutions, txtNation has established itself as an expert in SMS marketing for player acquisition and mobile payments to increase conversion rates in the mobile gambling space.

You can see from our previous post ‘Why Operator Billing works for Mobile Casinos‘, operator billing is convenient for end-users and do not require credit card details.

Mobile SMS marketing allows operators to take advantage of the movement of potential customers from desktop to mobile devices.

View our presentation: ‘Mobile Gambling, Mobile Operator Billing and Messaging: The Opportunity‘ and view our billing solutions for mobile gaming and gambling.

“The future of mobile casino depositing belongs to operator billing.”

Michael Whelan CEO, txtNation

 

Operator billing is quickly becoming a ubiquitous feature for all good mobile gambling sites and that trend is set to increase exponentially over the coming years.

 

What it is that gives operator billing the edge over alternatives used in mobile gambling?

  • Convenience of paying directly via your mobile – it’s in your hand when you use the casino – why anything else?
  • Mobility is the key for most people; after all, that is the reason why many users choose a mobile casino. Phone bill casinos do what it says on the tin; with a simple button or text – you are charged to your mobile operator account.
  • No credit card details required – meaning no forms to fill out, opening it up to users with no credit card or do not want to use their credit card on such sites.

 

The drawbacks?

In most markets e.g. the UK on Payforit, you will be limited to £30. In other markets – it varies.

For most casual players, that’s more than enough – plus, even for the more serious players, this can be used as a great method for depositing quickly. And not to forget as a quick engaging, customer acquisition tool, its unmatched.

Calvinayre.comtxtNation CEO Michael Whelan was interviewed about mobile payments in Brazil by Becky Liggero for CalvinAyre.com at the Mobile and Tablet Gambling Summit in London yesterday.

Much of the discussion at the event centred around payment strategies for mobile gambling operators with mobile payments considered an important solution.

When asked why txtNation’s payment solution is a good fit for the Brazilian market, Michael said “Most users in these markets do not have credit cards, they have very little cash in that society in terms of the type of amounts you’d look to charge for.”

He added “It’s seamless, it’s just one click and end-users can top up immediately.”

You can watch the full day two summary video on on CalvinAyre.com, or see our photos from the event in our recent blog post.

Find out more about our mobile billing solutions for mobile gaming and gambling.

txtNation exhibited at this week’s Mobile and Tablet Gambling Summit in London. CEO Michael Whelan and Matt Barbeiri, Territory Manager: Africa both attended, as did representatives from the top gambling operators.

Discussion at the event focused on payment strategies for mobile gambling, with many operators realising that players will either pay in their preferred method, or if that is unavailable, will find a site that does allow them to pay with that method.