Blog 53 Gaming

UX Solutions to New KYC Requirements

25 February 2019

The UK gambling industry is one of the most regulated sectors in the world and we’ve already seen significant changes in support of strengthening responsible gambling measures over the past two years. The UKGC announced that it wants operators to raise the bar in protecting customers and reducing problem behaviour. One of the more recent and crucial updates that will take place from May 2019 is a change to the Know Your Customer (KYC) verification process.

Stricter ID and Verification Procedure

Currently, operators have 72 hours grace to prove their customers are over 18. During this time, customers can deposit, play games and place bets - even those who do not pass the criteria later on. From 7th May onwards, operators will have to prove their customers are over 18 and confirm their date of birth and address before they are able to play or place any bets. This will be a big change in the customer journey and something that operators need to be aware of.

Most checks are automated, using an approved third-party API, but there will always be a certain percentage of customers that need to provide documents to the operator for verification.

This update presents two major UX challenges. One of them is that most customers don’t expect this and they’ll need to supply two forms of ID. They certainly won’t be happy with being blocked from the operator’s services straight away, so there is a high likelihood that they’ll try another brand not knowing that they will likely face the same issue elsewhere. Therefore, the operators that can onboard new customers through this process best, will win.

Operators will need to clearly explain these changes to their customers in advance and provide a clear explanation of what they will need to do. A clear process and explanation will help with the confusion surrounding these changes, as well as how to proceed to access the operator’s services quicker.

Real-Time Verification to maximise Conversion

The second issue is how customers will need to verify themselves. They will need to provide a copy of their passport or driving licence and a utility bill. This only works if they have it on them at that moment, e.g while they’re at home. This means that many customers won’t be able to register on-the-go or without planning in advance, so operators might see a bigger drop in bets placed. This can be overcome by integrating with providers that offer simple ID verification, document sharing or open banking services that help to confirm customer identity in real-time or as quickly as possible while they’re still interested.

This will no doubt maximise conversion and help to reduce access to underage users. This regulation will apply to all accounts, so operators will also need to check existing customers who registered prior to it taking place and are awaiting identification checks. This is a big task and requires a number of integrations with trusted providers, changing the frontend of the registration, as well as additional onboarding steps. It will come at a cost to the operator, but not as high as the one that comes with lost customers.

While the new regulation brings quite a substantial change to customer acquisition, there are a number of ways to create a clear and easy user journey to help customers register and start using the operator’s services efficiently. Gambling products with great onboarding and quick verification functionalities will succeed far better than those that overlook this. As a big number of drop offs happen during the registration, particularly when there are obstacles to completing it, and acquisition costs are high, it is important for operators of all sizes to carefully consider this area in their products. We expect the UK gambling industry to roll out a number of other new regulations, so tackling them with improvements to the UX will help both operators and customers.

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