In February it was announced that Sky Betting and Gaming would be the first online gaming company to employ GBGroup’s global identity transaction monitoring software to aid fraud protection, improve operational efficiency and promote responsible gambling. This software enables companies to “see a 360 degree view of its users – from initial compliance checks to monitoring player behaviour – so they can step in when potential fraudulent activities and signs of problem gambling are presented.” It’s the same software that’s already in use by the banking sector to spot fraudulent credit card use as well as financial transactions linked to money laundering activities. At the time of the announcement, Peter Murray, Head of Gaming at GBGroup, said: “Trust is a term we hear a lot these days, yet it is a word that is conspicuously absent when discussions turn to the online gaming industry. Although most people gamble without harm, research from Gamble Aware has shown that up to 590,000 adults in the UK may have a gambling problem. As a multi-billion pound industry, online gaming providers have a social responsibility to ensure their products and services are ethical, fair and that players are protected.” The face of the online gaming industry is changing and the issue of problem and underage gambling is moving up the political agenda. Online gaming companies all over the globe, including Sky Betting and Gaming, are taking steps to increase their protection of those that matter most to their business – the players. Today online gaming companies need to get the perfect balance between making the customer feel great, and responsibly protecting their brand from repercussions that can arise if a player is possibly not who they claim to be, or someone who can’t afford to be playing. To do this they need to prove that they have the ability to understand and know their customers, and can reliably provide a good player experience while performing rigorous security and identity verification checks. Only then will trust be achieved in the gaming industry. Murray said: “Sky Betting and Gaming have long recognised that robust security checks ensure they know exactly who is participating in their virtual arena and they look to leave no room for error. The key challenge is to distinguish between fraudulent and ‘good’ gamers, VIP’s or problem gambling and Sky Betting and Gaming is at the forefront of online companies looking to take responsibility for ensuring they support and facilitate ethical gaming. GBGroup’s software can go a long way to help this process.” Casino International Online spoke with Peter Murray to find out more about GBGroup and its products and processes… GBGroup started out as an address software group 25 years ago and has since grown to offer its customers a range of identity intelligence solutions including identity verification, fraud investigation and data enhancement. Today, GBGroup employs more than 300 people across its five UK offices as well as having seven offices internationally. Peter Murray heads up GBGroup’s gaming team, which focusses specifically on creating the perfect customer journey. This includes looking at the onboarding process of new players as well as looking into potential weaknesses of current systems. GBGroup’s expansion into the gaming market came ahead of the 2007 government reform which investigated regulation in online gaming. Gaming operators struggled to comply with one main notion which was addressed in the reform: identity verification. In response to this need GBGroup created URU, a solution which enables businesses to complete an ID check and sign-up new customers effectively and accurately. URU was created in 2004 and its first engagement with online gambling came at this point. GBGroup have clients who have been with them since 2005. GBGroup understands that an online gaming operator needs to ensure the experience they provide to customers is of a high standard to ensure they continue to return. The online gaming operators that lead will not necessarily be the biggest or the best, but will be the ones that foster a relationship with their customers built on trust and security. The most profitable and successful organisations recognise the value of understanding the available intelligence of their customers and employees. GBGroup combines this concept of identity with technology to create an environment of trust, so that organisations can employ people and connect, communicate and transact with consumers, safely and responsibly. Current failings One particular failing in the current system is the use of one dimensional verification. Simple name, address and date of birth data will give a level of confidence but we really need more if we are to use a ‘best of breed’ approach. The growth of online gaming has meant that the standards set by regulators across the world are as high as in the financial service sector. The main challenge for gaming merchants is how to remain compliant in an increasingly regulated environment without turning away “good” customers. Online gaming companies need to strike a balance between making the customer feel great, and responsibly protecting their brand from repercussions that can arise if a player is not who they claim to be, or shows traits associated with problem gambling. To do this businesses need to prove they have the ability to understand and know their customers, and can reliably provide a positive player experience while performing rigorous security and identity verification checks. Merchants have to be able to identify fraudsters and money launderers to comply with the EU’s Third Money Laundering Directive (Money Laundering Regulations 2007), The Gambling Act and the Responsible Gaming Policy, so identity verification is mandatory. The upcoming Fourth Money Laundering Directive combined with the tightening up of various in-country and Global regulations means that regulatory compliance is at the top of an operator’s agenda. New technology combined with enhanced sources of data should be used to ‘layer’ in to an identity and stay ahead of potential fraud as well as upcoming responsible gambling laws. GBGroup is the primary provider of Identity Intelligence solutions to over 60% of the gaming sector; GBGroup’s Identity Intelligence solutions provide the most comprehensive global identity verification service and fraud management solutions, as well as provide the ability to make the most of the verified data held on each player to maximise campaign response rates, drive revenue and increase player lifetime value. Transaction monitoring technology The new global identity transaction monitoring software has been built to aid fraud protection, improve operational efficiency and promote responsible gambling. The software enables the company to see a 360 degree view of its users – from initial compliance checks to monitoring player behaviour, so they can step in when potential fraudulent activities and signs of problem gambling are presented. The software is already in use by the banking sector to identify fraudulent credit card use as well as financial transactions linked to money laundering activities. Of all the wonderful things the internet has given us, it has also brought with it the ability to be truly anonymous. This anonymity can take place in all facets of the internet – from forums, to blogs, to the world of online gaming. Traditional ways of looking at documentation to verify identity are no longer enough. The 360 degree view goes beyond the traditional scope of verifying a user’s identity. By looking at everything from social profiles and transaction history, to monitoring online behaviour in real-time. In doing this, the software can connect users with anonymous social identities to which they can detect any fraudulent activity. The 360 degree view also allows online gaming companies to distinguish between fraudulent and ‘good’ gamers, VIPs and problem gamers. Monitor monitor monitor GBGroup’s new transaction monitoring technology allows gaming companies to monitor all steps of the gaming process – from on-boarding to engaging. It: • Rapidly captures player identity contact details across all touch points (face-to-face, telephone and online) • Verifies a player to determine if they’re of legal age to gamble, helping reduce fraud against the company and meet stringent compliance standards set by the regulators • Cleans, suppresses, de-duplicates, corrects inaccuracies, appends additional contact information and standardises all identity data so everyone in the organisation has the same, shared, single player view • Improves communication that can be personalised and automated to react to the player’s last interaction • Analyses player behavioural patterns to improve customer retention (e.g. predict when a player is likely to lapse to activate retention campaigns) • Gathers player experience, feedback and opinion about the brand via our social media monitoring service • Sets up loyalty campaigns to increase share of wallet, personlised interaction and player longevity • Traces players to their new address (e.g. to re-activate the relationship) GBGroup’s transaction monitoring software detects inconsistencies – comparing what users have done previously and what they’re doing now. All of this is done in real time, which is vital for this type of industry where money is at stake! Finding frauds There are a number of activities which can flag up a fraudulent customer which include, but are not limited to: • Inconsistencies with ID information • Payment behaviours • Historical behaviours • Bank account details • Links to social networks • Document verification If you’re wondering how GBGroup can source this information, the coimpany can look into historical behaviours using Connexus, an online 1:1 lookup tracing tool that allows customers to search for, investigate and contact individuals quickly and responsibly. It combines multiple datasets to give the most comprehensive current and historic view of UK individuals including their name, address, telephone number, date of birth, email address and much more. It also allows users to see who people are living with or have lived with, who their neighbours are and if they are linked to any businesses. This can all help in detecting fraudulent activities and do it in real-time. Systems in place A robust Identity Intelligence strategy has become essential to the survival and ongoing viability of a number of different industries. GBGroup operates in a number of different industries including finance, insurance, legal, retail and of course gaming. Real-time monitoring systems are particularly used among financial clients due to their sensitive nature. Unfortunately GBGroup can’t provide statistics on the results which companies have gained from using real-time monitoring systems, but can detail that they have been very positive. Sky Betting and Gaming has worked with GBGroup for over eight years. GBGroup provides Sky Betting and Gaming with identity verification solutions and, as it looks towards further international expansion, GBGroup’s solutions ensure Sky Betting and Gaming are ready for the challenge of new jurisdictions as well as maintaining regulatory compliance. SkyBET are keen to work in partnership with GBGroup to help develop services to help extend their range of identity intelligence solutions into the transaction monitoring area. The company now has tools to react to the ever changing customer behaviours, regulatory landscape and industry trends. Future users With behavioural analysis and responsible gambling now being integral parts of the process, the company is already in discussions and trials with other operators. The engagement of GBGroup depends upon the offering of the online gaming company in question. Companies must want to have a smooth customer journey in order to seek this technology. Regarding the possible future security needs, this comes back to being able to cope with globalisation of the marketplace; online gaming companies will need to comply with jurisdictions as well as maintain regulatory compliance. As these companies grow across borders, so will their need for identity verification technology – it’s all about being futureproof.