The payments industry is a vast and complex world. As a start, what do we really mean when we talk about payments? It can mean a thousand different things to a thousand different persons. Within specific industries, the needs can be quite divergent. That is what makes it so interesting. What about the growth of payments in esports, an industry that has been booming as of late? Fintech Review asked a few questions to Kamran Hedjri, Group CEO of PXP Financial.
Tell us more about PXP Financial. What is your elevator pitch?
PXP helps its customers keep up with the ever-evolving changes and trends in the market, and the expectations of our merchant customers and in turn end-users.
Our secure, flexible platform covers multiple channels, including online, in-store and mobile, as well as multiple currencies and payment types. We’re an international business with teams across six locations. We work with major brands including BetMGM, Penn National, Abercrombie & Fitch, Urban Outfitters and Tipico.
In recent years we’ve been busy developing our US business particularly in the gaming space. It is growing strongly: monthly processing volumes are around 10 times what they were at the beginning of 2020.
PXP Financial has many years of experience shaping and leading innovation in the payments space. Today, we have 200 employees from 25 nationalities working across offices in the UK, Austria, Bulgaria, India, the Netherlands and the US.
At our heart, we’re a technology and payments business, and the coming years will see some exciting developments. We will continue to explore innovations in embedded finance and helping our clients thrive in an omni-channel environment.
What is your background and what is the story behind the company?
My passion for payments started in 1995 at Europay and developed further when I joined BWIN. I’m proud to say I shaped the company’s payment strategy and helped it gain more than 20 million customers and to grow in 27 countries across Europe, North and South America.
It was after this I founded CQR/Kalixa payment group by establishing three companies: CQR Payment Solutions (gateway), CQR UK (acquiring) and Vincento (issuing). That brings us up to dates, and I’m now the Group CEO for PXP Financial, responsible for the overarching strategic direction of the business.
What are the specifics of payments within esports?
Alternative payment methods (APMs) are an increasingly important part of online gaming transactions. Whether gaming, esports or betting, in order to provide the most appropriate payment methods and support the immersive player experience, it’s important for operators to understand how payment preferences differ between types of gaming.
This will ensure they can tailor the payment journey accordingly and ensure payment doesn’t interfere with play.
In Europe, APMs make up nearly two thirds of video gaming purchases. Digital wallet payments alone accounted for 30% of payments in 2021 and are expected to increase to 35% by 2026.
In many geographies, PayPal leads the way as a payment method for online games. However, cryptocurrency and play-to-earn – where the player can receive rewards with real-world value – is likely to increase in popularity.
As the world of gaming continues to grow and evolve, developers must ensure the tech behind taking payments can keep up.
How is PXP Financial answering these needs?
For gaming and esports businesses operating internationally and across multiple channels, paying and getting paid can quickly become complex.
Payment methods preferred by players in the gaming sector go way beyond the traditional mix. PXP Financial’s platform is built for today’s gamer; making payments flexible, instant and global.
We offer the right combination of global and local alternative payment options. That is including wallets, vouchers, online banking, to make sure gaming customers can cash in and pay however they like.
PXP’s platform also allows operators to consolidate relationships into one global payment solution, which helps them cut costs, drive revenue and, crucially, increase player satisfaction.
Any innovation in fintech more broadly that you are really excited about?
With the growing demand for personalisation, new APMs, closed loop payment options and truly omni-channel experiences, there’s plenty to be excited about.
As convenience, rather than Covid, is now the driving force behind fintech innovation it will be interesting to see how things like one-click payments evolve. The next step is surely to remove the ‘pay’ button altogether for truly invisible payments.
In the gaming space, changes in regulations enacted by the Nevada Gaming Commission mean the door has finally opened to cashless wagering on casino floors. Land-based gaming operations are now looking for innovative solutions that will allow players to use mobile device to fund table game wagers without withdrawing cash from an ATM or redeeming tickets and chips.
They’re also looking for a wider variety of in-store APMs which can ensure a smooth experience in the casino. But also allow players to use any channel, whenever they like, and still get the same service.