The fusion of crypto and payments in gaming: Interview with Andria Evripidou

In our latest interview, Fintech Review sits down with Andria Evripidou from XDA, a company innovating at the crossroads of payment solutions and cryptocurrency for the gaming world. Andria discusses the hurdles gaming companies face in securing banking services and how XDA offers a vital lifeline for these businesses. She also delves into the growing trend of crypto adoption within gaming operations, an area where XDA is leading the charge in providing seamless integration.

Tell us more about XDA. What is your elevator pitch?

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XDA is a fusion of payments and crypto for the gaming industry. It is inherently difficult for companies that operate in this space to get a bank account. In addition, these companies are embedding more and more the use of crypto into their operations. This means they need to jump from platform to platform to satisfy all their financial needs. High street banks often shift their risk appetite abruptly, quickly offboarding gaming companies. XDA aims to address this issue by providing a stable, single platform catering to both crypto and fiat transactions for these companies. Our mission focuses on delivering consistency in the often-volatile gaming finance landscape.

What is your background, and the story behind XDA?

I am the CEO of XDA, and my journey began deep in the trenches of regulatory frameworks and fintech ecosystems. I’ve encountered the complex challenges that fintechs often grapple with when they attempt to serve specialized sectors like gaming. My experiences have not only schooled me in the intricacies of risk management inherent to these sectors but also in the art of navigating them successfully. My tenure within the gaming industry, at the helm of a pioneering payments platform, brought me face-to-face with the burgeoning integration of cryptocurrency in gaming transactions. It was this increasing trend that ignited the concept for our current platform.

We dedicated months to meticulously selecting compatible partners, engineering advanced technology, and implementing rigorous checks and control systems. The market’s reaction at launch was nothing short of a revelation, significantly exceeding our anticipated demand. Our team is poised to roll out a wide range of innovative products and features, confident they will meet our customers’ needs and exceed their expectations. We look forward to seeing the positive impact these advancements will have on our user experience.

What are the payment issues that the gaming industry is facing?

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Friction and lack of access. Gaming is a particularly niche and international industry. Creating a gaming website requires global resources. This ensures clients receive the experience they deserve. For traditional high street banks, the international nature of gaming is daunting. The industry’s risk adds to the challenge. Banks struggle to manage these factors. This often results in long onboarding times. Gaming companies face frequent information requests. They also experience delays in their payments.

How is XDA tackling these issues?

XDA has formed a team of specialists that can both understand and deal with these issues. 

XDA has curated a team to tackle the unique financial hurdles in the gaming industry, marked by international scope and regulatory scrutiny. Gaming firms face long bank onboarding times and frequent transaction delays due to the traditional banks’ risk-averse nature and complex compliance requirements.

This specialist team at XDA is well-versed in the gaming sector’s nuances and the financial strategies that circumvent traditional banking bottlenecks. They serve as intermediaries to streamline communication, accelerate the onboarding process, and seek alternative banking solutions more suited to the fast-paced, global nature of the gaming industry.

With their expertise, XDA’s team is set to minimize banking frictions and improve payment flows, enabling gaming companies to concentrate on their primary mission—delivering engaging gaming content worldwide without being hindered by financial constraints.

Crypto vs fiat: How do you see the demand evolving in gaming?

We don’t think Fiat is going anywhere, it will still be in use but there would be a significant increase in crypto uptake and in-platform coins that will be used for the games.

While fiat currency remains a cornerstone in the gaming industry, the rapid ascent of cryptocurrencies and proprietary in-platform coins suggests a shift towards a more diversified financial ecosystem. Fiat’s role persists due to its stability and widespread acceptance, ensuring it remains a part of gaming transactions for the foreseeable future.

Yet, the inherent advantages of cryptocurrencies—like enhanced security, privacy, and the facilitation of cross-border payments—are gaining traction with gamers and developers. Designers create in-platform coins for specific gaming environments. They aim to revolutionize in-game economies. These coins offer rewards and incentives. This enhances player engagement. It also improves retention.

This integration of digital currencies is expected to coexist with fiat, catalyzing new economic models within gaming. The industry is continuously innovating. A mix of traditional and digital finance is emerging. This will likely lead to a redefinition of the value exchange process in gaming. It heralds a new era of economic interaction. This new era will match the digital essence of gaming.

Other innovations in fintech or elsewhere that you find particularly interesting?

Open Banking a particularly interesting one, opening up data and streamlining payments. Can also be used to support more responsible gambling.

Open Banking revolutionizes the gaming industry by enabling swift and secure transactions through direct access to financial data. This not only streamlines payments, making deposits and withdrawals more efficient but also significantly reduces transaction costs and fraud.

Beyond payments, Open Banking’s real-time financial data access aids in fostering responsible gambling. It offers predictive analytics for detecting and mitigating problem gambling behaviors, triggering automatic spending limits or support interventions. This system strengthens self-exclusion efforts by ensuring players can’t easily bypass restrictions across platforms.

Additionally, it equips players with better financial oversight tools in gaming contexts. These include the ability to set personal budgets. Players can also get real-time alerts on their spending. The industry aims to balance user experience with social responsibility. Open Banking becomes a key tool in this effort. It promises better payment experiences and supports safer gambling practices.