Let us first understand what how skill gaming is different from regular games. As the name suggests skill gaming involves some kind of skill. Based on the demonstration of the skill the card holder may win some rewards. So in a nut shell if you have a website where people come and play virtual games the it may not be classified as skill gaming site. Let us understand about the profile of a EU/EEA based skill gaming site where the chances of approvals are optimum.
A skill gaming website will have some competitions where the card holder will use his skill set to win. This should not be confused with Lottery, Gambling or Betting. We are talking about Skill and Not Chance. The merchant may have a signup fee. For this he may require a merchant account. Since there is a signup fee and there may be a slight element of chance that is why regulatory control is important in this sector. This is the key reason why we see so many gaming commissions across the globe.
- Business Registration. All EU/EEA based acquirers require the merchants business to be registered in EU/EEA. This means that the application will not get approved if EU passport holders have Non EU company and are approaching EU PSP/ISO.
- Physical Address in EU. Processing companies want to ensure that the Skill gaming company that has applied for credit card processing has a physical business location in EU/EEA. Consider it a mandatory term. We have seen applications where the company address is of virtual location. We dont know all virtual addresses and send the apps to PSPs. Unfortunately these apps get declined and the kills the costly production hours of PSP.
- UBO Directors Nationality. This is vital as all of our skill gaming merchant account providers need the directors to be EU/EEA passport holders/Citizens. In case if the company is large with multiple CXOs then the UBOs with 50% ownership must be resident of the region where the PSP is authorised to operate.(However this has to be decided on a case by case basis)
- Gaming Licences. Most Processing companies will demand a gaming licence before approving any gaming merchant account. If the merchant believes that the website does not require any licence then there is no harm in getting it pre-qualified by the processor. In some cases PSPs may ask the merchant to provide a legal opinion if licence is required or not. They may also require legal opinion about the merchants target market if the merchant can operate in those markets or not. You dont have to worry as PSPs have legal team and they look at all application from legal perspective. They will tell you if you need a licence or a legal opinion. If legal opinion is required then you will know what factors to be analysed.
- Disclaimers. Merchants must have the required disclaimers on the site. A good approach will be to check the top 5 websites in the industry and compare your website compliance with what you see on the other 5 sites. This does not mean you should copy the disclaimer but it will certainly help you to get an idea about what factors to touch upon. Website that require age verification must have the same.
- Upto date website with traffic. As a merchant service reseller we get to see a tremendous number of sites from the skill gaming industry. Those who get success mostly have sites that are updated with some amount of organic traffic. Right after looking at the site it becomes easy to get an idea about the potential of the website. Please ensure that your website displays your business correctly with no coming soon pages or 404 error pages. You will be surprised that many websites dont even open in the region where the PSP is registered and the merchant is registered it is strange but true. You should not do the same. Ensure that your website has all the required pages like Terms, Refund Policy and any other policy that may be required. A hyper link where the PSP can verify your licence can be placed on the footer section of your website with open in new window tag. Sites with no or very low traffic also are mostly rejected. This is mostly because of expected sales volume. Our EU based processing partners prefer to work with merchants with 20-40K in sales each month. Now this may be a challenge for a startup but while startups search for a merchant account they can also work on generating some organic traffic to the site. Just by maintaining social media pages correctly a good amount of traffic can be routed to the site that also from the correct target group. Once you get approved via our processing partners you may contact us and we will be happy to do a free seo audit of your site. This may help you to get a simple understanding about how you can attract more web traffic.
- Set the correct Dollar Euro Amount. The average transaction value should be as per the industry standard. For example if most merchants in your industry have an average ticket size of 50-100 Dollars then your website should also have similar figure. If your average ticket is $300 then it creates another question why your average value is higher than the industry standard. The prize value should also be reasonable. We think that it may help you if the prize value is kept on the lower side. Again check the industry standard and it will help you better.(This does not mean prize value can not be on the higher side as it all depends on a case by case basis and merchants risk profile as well as licences and business model)
- Communicate freely and be transparent. Do not try to hide things and respond to the processors question. Remember even after the account approval it can close down without any reason.
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Its also helps if your website has a good front page. Adding links to the various packages your offer, Previous competitions, Leader boards is a good approach of displaying a professional vision that you have towards your skill gaming business. Skill gaming is a happy industry. From the card holders point of view they want excitement and joy on your website. These days merchants can have a background video on the homepage slider and put it on auto play. This can be a music based video that shows some clips from your previous competitions where people have won and are happy.
Merchants should keep one more thing in mind . The products that the merchants claim to be offered after successfully winning skill competition must be pre-purchased. This means merchants must be ready with the invoices of said winning product. For Example if a skill gaming site claims that the players can win a tablet then the company must have an invoice for the tablet. Gone are the days when merchants though that they will be able to collect the full cost of the winning item from tickets. Post covid things have changed a lot in the payments industry. Banks and PSPs are more strict in terms of taking risk exposure.
Merchants with documents that can prove that the product is already available with the merchant can have better chances of approvals. Some times even a supplier agreement may help. All i am trying to state is that in skill gaming sector genuine merchants wit vision and all required documents find it easy to get a credit card processing solution.