Diego Steinberg, VP of Global Distribution at AstroPay, delineates the functionalities of the online payment system. In addition, he talks about relationships with operators and users, and stresses on the alliances with distributors in the countries in which they are present.
What products does AstroPay offer as a payment system and which are your main partners in the gaming sector?
Since 2009, we have the vision of making online payment a special experience for all users. That is the purpose with which AstroPay Card emerges, our own solution, offering customer a mix of security, practicality and speed, elements that mark a differential characteristic and make more and more people choose us as their favorite payment method for transactions. We usually state that our main partners are always users, and the company concentrates on them. We adapt the product and the flows based on the needs of the market in order to provide the expected solution.
In which countries does your brand have a good positioning?
Although we have a license to operate in the European continent, since the beginning, our focus has been on emerging markets. In 2019, we had deposits from 55 different countries, highlighting (outside Latin America) the presence in Southeast Asia, Africa and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates). These are very interesting markets, which show a kind of growth that makes them attractive to any supplier and operator. Of course, they bring endless challenges to achieve a consistent service, but that is part of the game.
How is the company preparing its participation at a key industry show like ICE London?
ICE is always one of the most special moments in the year. We take the opportunity to personally meet with all those clients with whom we work remotely to discuss new opportunities, trends, set goals and project what is coming. We face that show as we always had: with great enthusiasm, open to new alliances and challenges.
In your opinion, what are the perspectives for the legalization of iGaming in Latin America, after the successful pioneer case of Colombia? Do you think this 2020 will finally be the launching year of the digital sports betting markets in Argentina, Brazil and Peru?
For some time now, several Latin American countries have in their political agenda the regulation of online gambling. The case of Colombia undoubtedly helps other territories to take it as an example and move on that path, understanding the meaning and importance of this issue. Everything would indicate that this 2020 can be a milestone year, in which the situation in countries like Argentina, Brazil and Peru is finally regulated.
Considering that many online users and players in LatAm are not yet used to cashless payment methods, what is the appropriate strategy that your company is implementing to progress with its solutions in those emerging markets?
Global trends indicate that, increasingly, cashless payments are the option chosen by users. As you say, in LatAm, we are not yet so accustomed, but year after year we see exponential growth. I think, little by little, we are going to gain confidence. The company’s strategy has always been the same: to make the payment a unique experience for the user. Of course, the challenge becomes a bit more complex in those markets that tend to be more conservative. Therefore, we put a lot of effort into educating customers, offering them benefits, promotions, incentives, and positioning the brand in such a way that finally makes them decide to deposit money through AstroPay Card. In addition, we have many alliances with local distributors that allow us to be closer to the customer at all times. It makes us differentiate from other payment options. Month by month, we see how the numbers of active users grow, which is really encouraging.
What do you foresee as future trends for online gaming and how can products like AstroPay Card be able to effectively respond to the players’ needs?
If we talk about payment methods, the path seems to be marked and is going to digitize all transactions. The concept is to be able to make a deposit from the cell phone at any time and place, eliminating all types of barriers. As part of the world of e-money, we have the responsibility of adapting to the needs of clients and operators, in an environment that is constantly evolving and demanding updates not to become obsolete. The key is to be agile in decisions and to know how to easily adapt to those changes. Without a doubt, that is one of the pillars of AstroPay.