Global online sports-bettors prioritise rapid payouts and payment choice when starting their customer experience with sportsbooks reports payments platform, Paysafe.

A report from Paysafe, the 2024 All the ways players pay, also reveals that payments are just as valuable in strengthening the customer experience for players. It adds that online sports-bettors appetite for digital wallets and even crypto payments is rising.

Streamline payments: the top factor in choosing a sportsbook

The research covers sports bettors in Massachusetts Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Ontario, UK, France, Germany, and Italy.

It finds that streamlined payouts was players’ top factor when choosing a sportsbook (prioritised by 37%). 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 prioritise their favourite 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. Some 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%).

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Debit cards remain the top payment choice of players

Bettors’ payment preferences continue to diversify. Debit cards remain the dominant choice globally. This is the 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 favouring a digital wallet versus 43% a debit card.

Credit cards’ overall popularity is limited by markets like the UK and the US state of Massachusetts banning their use. Despite this, the preference for credit cards remains robust both globally (25%) and across the US (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 US (16%).

Digital wallets and e-cash use to grow

Player adoption of digital wallets, e-cash and other alternative payment methods (APMs) will likely grow. 58% of players expect to use APMs more through end-2025. And despite cryptocurrency market volatility, crypto payments appear attractive for players, with 50% interested in this when permitted by regulators. This trends higher in the US (58%), especially in New York (72%).

Zak Cutler, President of Global Gaming at Paysafe, said: “Our latest research clearly indicates the value of payments to online sportsbook operators at all stages of the player experience. Operators that optimise their payment offering 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 maximise player retention by getting payments right. This includes upgrading their cashiers to cover all possible payment choices to meet evolving transactional expectations.”