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Quick payouts and payment options are priorities for global online sports bettors, study shows

By Puja Sharma

February 06, 2024

  • account-to-account deposits
  • APMs
  • Business Credit Cards

digital payments

Company research reveals payments play an essential role in global sportsbooks’ customer acquisition and retention amid diversifying transactional preferences.

Global online sports-bettors prioritize rapid payouts and payment choice when starting their customer experience with sportsbooks, according to the 2024 All the ways players pay research from Paysafe, a payments platform released, the report also reveals that payments are just as valuable in strengthening the customer experience for players, whose appetite for digital wallets and even crypto payments is rising.

Showcasing Paysafe’s all-new brand identity, which the company unveiled, the report surveyed 3,000 sports bettors in six U.S. states (Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania), the Canadian province of Ontario, the U.K., France, Germany, and Italy, in December 2023. The research found that players’ top factor when choosing a sportsbook (prioritized by 37%) was streamlined payouts. They consider this more important than brand trust (34%), odds (29%), promotions (26%), user experience (17%), sports markets (15%), and sponsorships (10%).

When selecting a sportsbook, players also prioritize their favorite payment methods’ availability (26%) and seamless deposits (26%) over every factor except brand trust, odds, and promotions.

Payments are just as crucial for strengthening player retention, with 78% of bettors considering the payment experience important in why they remain with a brand. This trends even higher in Italy (88%), New York (84%), and Germany (80%).

Bettors’ payment preferences continue to diversify. Debit cards remain the dominant choice globally (a preference of 38%), though this is being challenged by digital wallets (37%). Wallets are today the top payment preference in Italy (53%) and Germany (52%). And by facilitating wagering across multiple sportsbooks, digital wallets are a leading payment choice of VIP players, with 46% of bettors wagering 5-7 times weekly favoring a digital wallet versus 43% a debit card.

Markets like the U.K. limit credit cards’ overall popularity, and the U.S. state of Massachusetts banned their use. Despite this, the preference for credit cards remains robust both globally (25%) and across the U.S. (also 25%), while in France, they are the favourite payment method of all (47%).

Interest in eCash remains niche but significant, with 13% preferring online cash. This trends higher in countries with an enduring cash culture like Germany (16%) and the U.S. (16%). Local payment methods (LPMs) available only in single country are a preference of 13%, trending higher in the U.S. (17%) and Canada’s Ontario (17%), with their established LPM brands.

Confidence in the transactional security at sportsbooks continues to improve, with 57% of players more confident than last year. However, there is no room for complacency, with 10% less confident and 33% unsure. Player adoption of digital wallets, eCash, and other alternative payment methods (APMs) will likely grow, with 58% of players expecting to use APMs more through the end of 2025. And despite cryptocurrency market volatility, crypto payments appear attractive for players, with 50% interested in this when permitted by regulators. This trends is higher in the U.S. (58%), especially in New York (72%).

Zak Cutler, President of Global Gaming at Paysafe, said, “Our latest research indicates the value of payments to online sportsbook operators at all stages of the player experience. Operators that optimize their payment offerings will gain a competitive advantage when starting their brand’s relationship with new bettors. Given the correlation between the payment experience and brand loyalty, operators can maximize player retention by getting payments right. This includes upgrading their cashiers to cover all possible payment choices to meet evolving transactional expectations.”

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