Never mind ‘5 working days’. How about 5 working minutes?

Using ClearStake to handle enhanced due diligence (EDD) checks can dramatically improve how many customers manage to complete these checks. In fact, operators have seen an increase of 160% in that number, meaning that if you previously had two in 10 customers completing an EDD check when requested, you might see five in 10 doing so using ClearStake.

When discussing how we deliver these results, we often talk about how smooth and straightforward the process is for the customer. But one element that is often overlooked is simply the time it takes. The time for the customer themselves, but also the time it takes the operator to reach a decision and get back to the customer.

Why time matters

Obviously, nobody wants to be inconvenienced. The fact that it will take a customer time to go and fetch bank statements, and perhaps go back and find them again if there is something wrong with the first set, is likely to damage opt-in rates.

But even more important is the second factor mentioned above - the time an operator takes to make a decision. It isn’t uncommon for EDD decisions relating to affordability or source-of-funds/AML to take a week or even more. 

Now imagine being a customer waiting on that decision. In many cases, your account might be restricted while you are waiting. That might indeed be an account you’ve just opened that day or evening. So you are stuck, unable to bet or stake, waiting to be told whether you will be allowed to continue to play.

It doesn’t take a genius to realise that one course of action available to this customer is to go elsewhere. After all (and apologies to the operators reading these), betting on sports is a relatively fungible product, as is playing casino games online. We hear a lot about the black market, but the far greater challenge for licensed operators is the wide range of brands a mere click away. 

To summarise, I would state the problem like this:

Every single second you keep a customer waiting for an affordability or source-of-funds decision, you are encouraging him or her to go elsewhere. 

Given this is the case, let’s talk about what we can do to stop that happening

How to make decisions quickly

The aim here is simple. Get back to a customer in a matter of minutes (or indeed in seconds), so that performing checks doesn’t get in the way of them enjoying your product. And the way to do this is simply to automate the process.

It might sound hard to believe, but in 2023 an awful lot of operators make affordability and source of funds decisions after looking at printouts of statements and working things out with a biro and a calculator. Aside from the obvious potential for human error, it also takes a lot of time. And as a labour-intensive process, it has to be managed. A case must be assigned to a compliance officer, that officer has to get around to the job, and so on. Time ticks on.

This is what happens when data is not digitised. But when that same data has been shared via Open Banking, and each transaction has been effectively categorised, calculations can be automated. Identifying disposable income is easy, as is spotting any potential red flags that might cause an operator concern. 

Couple that to a system that has already been customised to the operator’s own compliance rules, and in most cases decisions are made in seconds, and can be communicated back to the customer in seconds. There is no time to consider alternative options, and as a result fewer of those customers go elsewhere.

‘When’ is almost as important as ‘how fast’

One final point is worth making when discussing time. It is often worthwhile being proactive about asking for financial data, rather than waiting until the last minute. There is a world of difference between ‘please supply these documents now to continue betting’ and ‘at some time we will need to see these documents, please share them at a time that suits you’.

The latter gives you plenty of time to get a customer through EDD without restricting their account, and at a time that suits them (as opposed to the middle of the Cheltenham festival, for example). 

Even when checks are completed in minutes, precisely when they take place can still make a difference.