Visa recently shared its top global commerce trends for 2018. While the report largely reinforces what we already know about the rapid shift in commerce technology and consumer behavior, the need for a sense of urgency in Gaming Entertainment cannot be understated. Three trends in particular will have major implications for this industry over the next several years:
Card-to-Cloud. In simple terms, “card-to-cloud” refers to seamless and frictionless commerce. When your guests aren’t on your property, they are getting face-to-face engagement at the Apple Store; a highly customized experience on Amazon; and concierge-level service when they’re checking in at the Ritz. More and more, they are expecting these experiences everywhere they go.
A recent study by Accenture and Forrester accentuates the reality that consumers increasingly demand seamless commerce and their tolerance for disconnection is dwindling. Yet, when they check in at a casino resort for the weekend, disconnection is what they are likely to find: hotel check-in’s that don’t acknowledge customer loyalty as well as retail, spa, restaurant and entertainment experiences with no common thread.
This disconnection extends online. In spite of the fact that online and mobile gaming are expected to reach $52 billion this year, the Gaming industry still doesn’t have a seamless experience that connects brick-and-mortar with online. Even if you don’t have a desire to pursue online gaming, you must still ask yourself how you are engaging your guests via their phones while they are standing on your property. For that matter, how are you maintaining that engagement once they go home? The devices in their pockets can be a powerful tool to cultivate guest loyalty and build a meaningful brand with your customers.
Meeting these rising consumer expectations requires all gaming organizations – online or offline – to shift their emphasis from cards to accounts
Everything as a Point-of-Sale. The concept of “everything as a point-of-sale” is as simple as the buzz term “omni-channel experience”: any payment, any platform, anywhere and any time. As consumers increasingly leverage single payment accounts, they are losing tolerance for single-purpose points-of-sale. They want speed, efficiency, and all of the services they need delivered across any physical or digital point of sale.
There was a time in Gaming when the casino was the revenue-driver for the property, and all transactions happened at the cage. Those days have passed. Self-service on the casino floor is nearly ubiquitous. The global interactive kiosk market is predicted to grow 13 percent annually through 2021, which will inevitably create new opportunities for point of sale automation. At the same time, the hotel, shops, spa, restaurants and entertainment venues are now essential to both the guest experience and the resort profitability equation.
Imagine a world where your guests can easily make multiple transactions across your property from a single point of sale; earn incentives on their spend; be presented with additional offers; and access cash directly from their card, phone, e-check account or other means. These types of frictionless experiences are coming and will ultimately become table stakes as Gaming Entertainment looks to attract younger generations.
The API economy. Integration to best-in-class solutions will be an important way for gaming organizations to create differentiated guest experiences. It’s no longer necessary to own the whole value chain. Today, businesses must leverage the best components, assemble wisely, then deliver a packaged solution.
Take for example, Uber. Uber doesn’t own vehicles or technology. They’ve assembled world class providers to deliver notifications, mapping/routing, billing, and database management allowing them to focus on their key asset— the customer experience. The result is that they created a $50 billion business by doing what they do best and allowing their partners to handle the areas of their expertise.
APIs are how Gaming Entertainment organizations will more easily deploy new technology in the future to deliver powerful guest engagement, increase the number and capability of their points of sale; develop actionable insights and implement greater levels of security and risk mitigation. With the right partner to deliver secure integration at scale, the potential to increase guest value and profitability through APIs is significant.
If you look past the temptation for business as usual, these trends offer exciting potential. At Global Payments Gaming Solutions, we are thinking about them every day. Our focus is on determining how our clients can take advantage to better connect with their guests and drive spend across all of their physical and digital properties. Contact us today to learn more about how we are working to bring more of Global Payments technology power to bear to help you benefit from these global commerce trends.