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Online customers have a few steps to follow before placing their first wager at an online casino. The process referred to as Know Your Customer (KYC) may annoy some consumers, but studies reveal that most understand the importance of the process and prefer service providers who stick to it. Safer gambling starts with a responsible, licensed operator, and these online casinos will always follow KYC protocols for increased player and platform security. If you have ever wondered why it is necessary to submit identity verification documents, we are here to explain the reasoning behind it and the process. Forbes projects the online gambling industry could be worth $92.9 billion by next year, making it an extremely lucrative space for criminals. All the more reason for providers to double down on KYC processes. Identify Yourself With more and more consumers flocking to online gambling platforms globally, it is paramount that providers ensure they know who gambles on their sites. KYC refers to a brief identification process that usually includes submitting documents to prove you are who you say you are. Because online casinos offer services linked to financial transactions, players need to know their information and accounts are secure and protected from hackers or bad actors. Regulated gambling jurisdictions worldwide require impenetrable security from their licensed operators to enforce the highest level of consumer protection for honest players. Seeing that gambling is an age-restricted practice, all providers must establish the age of all players before granting access to their casino. This well-known practise is mostly accepted as land-based casinos do the same. With online gambling and the expansive internet, remote casinos have a few more points to cover to verify the legitimacy of their new sign-ups. Uploading documents that contain highly sensitive information, like your address and ID, is an uncomfortable situation for most people. That is why it is so important to choose a trustworthy licensed casino. However, it is essential that platforms make the process as easy as possible. Have a look at what you can expect with online casinos and how crypto casinos vary, if at all, from traditional fiat currency casinos. KYC at Fiat Online Casinos Most licensed and regulated casinos may only request your proof of identification once, and regulators prefer this to be at the time of registration. Before you can deposit money to place a bet and play a game, you must submit the right documents for verification. Online casinos that work with regular currency, fiat money, mostly use the same sign-up procedures. This relates to creating an account by selecting your profile user name and a secure, unique password. Once your profile is active, the site requests documents to verify your identity, including a copy of your ID, a valid proof of address, and verification of your contact details. All the information captured on your profile must match the data from the documents you submit. Because KYC and anti-money laundering (AML) processes go hand-in-hand, online casinos have to confirm a source of income if deposits exceed specific amounts. ✓ ID Verification Many casinos accept pdf uploads from new players, and sometimes, these documents must be verified manually. Acceptable means of identity verification around the world vary according to jurisdiction and from one continent to the next. Still, most companies accept a photocopy of your driver's licence, ID document, or passport. Through personal details from these types of documents, providers can confirm that the new customer meets the age requirements of the region and that they are not on a blocked list. It is important to submit clear, legible copies to ensure swift processing and avoid frustration. Modern providers may use AI technology in their KYC process, which requires users to take a selfie during registration. This speeds up the process tremendously and sometimes allows for immediate play. ✓ Address Verification Are you wondering why they need to know where you live and how safe your private information is? Licensed online casinos must comply with stringent laws on security systems that include SSL Encryption. They must know where you live to confirm that you are from an accepted jurisdiction, or they could lose their licence. SSL Encryption keeps the data you send safe from your end to the operator's end. Essentially, it prevents hackers from stealing your information. Address verification documents include the recent paperwork containing your name and full street address. Accepted versions may be utility accounts, lease agreements, bank statements, or credit accounts. Your selected online casino will describe what they accept as valid address confirmation. Top casinos always have customer support available if you get stuck. ✓ Verify Contact Information These steps usually require no documents, only manual verification from the player's side. When remote casinos verify your telephone number, they typically send a unique code to your phone. You need to enter this code before moving forward with registration. This process quickly and easily links your number to your profile. Email verification happens similarly where the operator will send a registration alert to the email captured during sign up. Users have to confirm their email addresses via the email received from the casino platform. Some online casinos ask players to set up security questions. These come in handy when players forget their passwords. Always pick questions and answers that only you know and can remember to prevent breaches and disappointment in the future. Combining these documents and verification steps helps companies protect players from identity theft. Most top online gambling platforms take 24 hours to process the verification documents, but if there is a problem with the documents, it can take longer. A service agent from the company will reach out if there are issues. KYC with Crypto Casinos Bitcoin casinos and other crypto casinos are rising in popularity as a new generation of gamblers emerges, and players notice certain advantages linked to Defi (decentralised finance). A significant benefit is the anonymity the blockchain currencies provide, and players may wonder why they must provide ID verification at crypto casinos. As KYC has to do with money laundering prevention, counter-terrorism protocols, and the prevention of under-aged gambling, all casinos must confirm their player's identities. Another fact to consider is that cryptocurrencies provide anonymity through a decentralised ledger. So crypto has become more and more popular. Therefore, players can expect similar requirements from crypto casinos to sign up. A major advantage of these platforms is the blockchain technology they use. To players, this means unsurpassed security. Advances in KYC Processing The future of this important part of registering for online gambling contains innovations ranging between digital identities, AI, and the massive adoption of blockchain technology. Europe continues to work on the proposal of a continent-wide digital identity to streamline and secure its citizens' online activities. A single digital e-ID means Europeans will have access to services throughout the continent's participating states without constantly submitting sensitive documents. They hope to have most member-states onboard by 2030. Artificial Intelligence provides many advantages for KYC processing, including fast and accurate checks. Industry leaders in Fintech suggest providers utilise AI for basic checks. This allows their staff to focus on high-risk profiles or customers who have trouble registering. AI allows for an all-around happier customer with user-friendly experiences and saves a lot of time. As mentioned, blockchain technology presents financial businesses like casinos with the advantage of unsurpassed security. This is because the technology relies on immutable ledgers made up of data blocks filled with nodes. Before we get too technical, this basically means it is challenging to hack blockchains. If some brilliant fool manages to break in, the chain shuts down and notifies all relevant parties immediately. Is it Safe? You may still wonder how safe your private information is with an online casino platform. As mentioned, licensed operators must comply with strict security laws set out by regulators. These include SSL Encryption as well as highly sophisticated security systems. Apart from what the operator does to keep your information secure, there are extra steps you can take to avoid a breach. Advanced Security Options If the casino you chose offers the following advanced security options, use it for more peace of mind. ✓ Two-factor Authentication – This means that you will need to confirm it is you every time you sign in. You will receive a message either via your mobile or your email, which you must confirm before gaining access to your account. ✓ A Strong Password – A strong password has over 14 characters comprising upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and characters. It must not be a password you are currently using or have used before for any other account. ✓ Biometric Access – If the device you use most frequently to play supports it and the casino offers it, use this option. Phishing Scams A common scam used by cybercriminals is phishing. Online casinos will never ask you to confirm banking passwords or pins online. They will not randomly change their banking details and email you about it. Scammers who use this tactic mostly try to manipulate or intimidate and often use confusing processes to unsettle their victims. If you feel uncertain about a call, email, or text message you received, call the provider directly and confirm whether they are looking for you. Above all, go with your gut. If you feel uncertain, request the information in writing and tell them you will read through the details. KYC for Your Safety It may be one of the least favourite parts of gambling online, but KYC is essential to our security as players. If the casino you chose is a responsible provider with a licence from a reputable regulator, they will verify your details in the most efficient and pain-free way possible.
Online gambling is one of the largest entertainment industries in the world. With technological advances and greater access to the internet, it is something that is no longer reserved for the wealthy who can travel long distances to visit a brick and mortar casino destination. It’s estimated that over 80% of humanity owns a smartphone and there are approximately 4.66 billion active internet users in the world. The worldwide pandemic has caused many consumers to facilitate the internet for shopping and entertainment, and this is one reason the online gambling industry saw tremendous growth in the last year. With a compound annual growth rate of 12.3% from the previous year, operators have quite the task to ensure their users are safe and they adhere to license regulations. One way they do this is through Know Your Customer (KYC) protocols. KYC and Regulations Creating a safe and enjoyable space for punters to play their favourite games is the principal aim of online operators. Happy patrons become loyal ones and this pushes bottom line turnover. The global regulatory bodies in the igaming space have very strict conditions, specifically linked to consumer safety, anti-money laundering (AML), and anti-fraud procedures. KYC is the process operators use to identify their clientele. In turn, this allows them to manage their customer database according to various regulatory conditions. The online casino industry is worth more than $70 billion, making it an extremely attractive space for criminals. Casinos have always been a space where chancers try to get rid of “hot” money or make money in a crooked way. Gambling is also an age-restricted practice, therefore providers need to be sure that patrons are who they say they are. As part of a player’s onboarding process, they need to register a profile with the online casino of their choice and proof of identity is part and parcel of this. The information provided by the player and how the operator stores the data is a key factor for most regulators. This sensitive information needs to establish a few important details, like the player’s identity, age, residential address, and in some instances, source of income. Customer profile systems, with efficient KYC protocols in place, help online casinos to recognise identity fraud or theft, financial crime, and problematic gambling behaviour. The KYC process should also flag high-risk profiles, whether it’s for problematic gamblers or persons of interest. Regulators prohibit online casinos from accepting money from their new clients until the identity verification process is complete. To ensure that their users, brand reputation, and license remain safe, online gambling platforms need to provide a seamless user experience whilst complying with tight mandates from regulators. If operators can’t maintain this balance, it can have devastating outcomes for their business, like losing clients to more efficient suppliers and even losing their license because of non-compliance. Let’s have a look at how online casinos deal with KYC procedures, what the future of KYC is, and what some are doing to make the process more effective. The Process and Outcome It has become customary for certain regulatory bodies to lead the way in the online gambling industry and others follow suit. The UK Gambling Commission is possibly the most respected and revered authority in the industry. According to the UKGC, the registration of new players needs to include immediate submission of their ID and only once their identity is verified may they deposit money and play online. Thankfully, we are in the electronic age and manual processing of documents has become redundant. eKYC processes allow a player to create their profile online and submit documentation in a like manner. A player only needs to submit identification for registration, as casinos may no longer request additional ID documents when a player wants to withdraw funds. Recent technology makes it possible for operators to use artificial intelligence (AI) in the process of identity verification, which speeds up the process and eliminates unnecessary errors. Through facial recognition, AI systems can compare a person’s selfie to their ID document and confirm whether it’s a match. An important advancement to mitigate the attempts of underaged gamblers who use their parents’ ID documents to register. KYC procedures include Customer Due Diligence (CDD) and Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD). The former is what we listed above, the latter is a lot more involved and requires a broader analysis of potential risks. AI automates large volumes of workflow and can quickly analyse large volumes of data. With the enormous sums of money that move through casinos, precise and speedy data processing is paramount and EDD systems need to detect any suspicious transactions. Biometric technology allows players maximum security on their profiles as financial platforms integrate with other websites that use biometric identification systems. It provides users with the option to forgo the tedious and risky option of creating a password, as they linked their fingerprints to the profile. The Swedish payment solution company, Trustly, introduced Pay N Play where players make a deposit via Trustly and the Pay N Play platform does ID verification through the client’s financial institution. The process happens in the background and patrons can play while their bank verifies their credentials. What Could Be Next? Technology advancements encourage criminals to be creative and, as their modus operandi changes, so must KYC measures improve. It is clear that KYC and AML regulations will only become more rigid and online casinos need to apply technology to their advantage here. Innovative automation companies have KYC solutions like apps and video technology, which makes the process more efficient and user-friendly. Video technology allows for liveliness checks by assigning a task like blinking or smiling to confirm the live-state of the applicant. This prevents users from submitting a video recording or using fraudulent 3D mask technology. This technology is also highly accurate in verifying documentation against forgery. It’s not just technology that drives improvement for KYC practices, but government initiatives as well. The European Commission plans to launch an eID for the entire continent and Europeans will be able to share their sensitive documents electronically via this platform. This type of program has the potential to eliminate the costs of verification software for gaming providers in Europe. We already see face recognition, fingerprint scanners, and AI in the application of identity verification, nothing short of a futuristic science-fiction story. With smartphones that have retina scanners and voice recognition, we can only imagine what technology and procedures await us in the future to create a client experience with minimal friction and risk. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips, also known as microchips, are on the rise and highly popular in Sweden. Whether these rice-grain sized implantations will form part of the ID verification system for KYC is uncertain. For many, this represents the seamless integration of human biology and tech, but for others, it is still unthinkable. The reality is that the technology exists for these RFID’s to replace passwords, keys, tickets, and cards, making it an all-in-one device, which is physically impossible to lose. Bio-enabled devices like this would make cashless living possible. However, there is a lot of controversy about the topic. Providers Should Go All In The matrix of technological advances makes it tricky to predict where ID verification will be in the next few years. One thing is certain, and that is the regulatory grit of gambling authorities when it comes to KYC and its implementation. Online casinos need to apply their maximum efforts to offer the best onboarding experience. This will not only provide user satisfaction but also increase their revenue.
The internet is filled with many wonderful experiences, a wealth of knowledge, and the ability to entertain just about anyone. Unfortunately, for all of the good the internet has brought to the average household, there’s an equal amount of sinister dealings happening at the same time. While the web may not be all sunshine and roses, we can help keep ourselves safe from those who want to do nothing but rain on our parade. We can’t stop hackers from trying to steal personal information, online casino account logins, or important files – but we can do everything possible to protect ourselves from prying eyes. But where do we begin? We’ll help you get started and learn a few important ways to implement cyber security. What is Hacking? We’re sure you’ve heard of the term “hacking” before now. Initially, the term “hacker” was used to describe a tech expert that could solve any technical problem using their skill. Today, it may trigger images of underground groups hunched over their PCs with screens filled with code and numbers. While that may be the case in the movies, hacking is used by criminals to gain access to personal information and data that can be used to steal from you. Often that can take place in the most unsuspecting ways. Are You at Risk of Being Hacked? Perhaps you spend most of your time enjoying online casino games or browsing Facebook. You may consider yourself too “unimportant” to be hacked. What could a criminal possibly want with your information, right? The fact is, we’re all at risk of having our devices hacked. Hackers use any information they can find to use or sell as they see fit. Hackers are always out to find the following: ➀ Personally Identifiable Information (PII) – This can include your name, social security or ID number, date of birth, tax number, medical records, or any other form of personal information that could help a criminal access your accounts. ➁ Activity from time on the internet – Browsing data, cookies from websites, ISP logs, plugins that read your data, and even the websites you visit can all be sold to advertisers. ➂ Emails and social media accounts – Emails tend to have a lot of personal and financial information stored that we all want to keep private. Even instant messages and texts can reveal a lot about how we spend our time and money. ➃ Data from connected devices – Real-time connections via our devices could give full access to a hacker that wants to steal documents or drop viruses onto your computer. This can take place via connections through apps such as Skype. If you tick any of the boxes mentioned above, you could be a target for hacking. But there’s no need to fear! Keep reading to learn how to keep yourself safe. How to Protect Yourself Online Every time you connect to the internet via your computer or mobile device, you need to make sure that you’re protected. When you’re using your computer, there are many ways to stay safe. Using anti-virus software or a VPN can help keep your connections safe and your devices clear of viruses. A virus can find its ways onto your computer in many different ways. The most popular is via a phishing scam email. These emails are often disguised as innocent forms of communication. They could even seem to be from companies you know such as your favourite online casino or the bank you use everyday. Phishing emails are designed to look exactly like a normal email you would open without thinking twice. However, there are usually a few pointers that can help you spot a scam. Does the email address look like it’s from your bank or a business you trust? Is the logo out of focus or pixelated in any way? Is there a suspicious attachment that requires you to download it or provide personal information to open? If you’re ever in doubt, contact the company the email claims to be from and enquire about its legitimacy. While computers are the main target of hackers and scammers, mobile devices are just as at risk. Many users believe that accessing the internet via a mobile browser is 100% safe. At one point, it was believed that iOS on Apple devices was completely unhackable – but this isn’t the case. Just as technology evolves, so does the technology used by criminals. It’s important to always make sure that you’re visiting legitimate sites and that you avoid opening any links that you don’t know or trust. Top 5 Anti-Virus Software Anti-virus software is a great way to protect your computers from hackers. Trusted companies who create anti-virus software constantly upgrade known virus logs and can help you protect you on a daily basis. Here are 5 of the best anti-virus software available now: Norton Bitdefender Panda McAfee TotalAV Use a trusted anti-virus program and keep it updated. Let the software scan your PC regularly and it will inform you if there are any suspicious or potentially dangerous files that need to be dealt with. 5 Best VPN Providers A VPN (or Virtual Private Network) connects you to a service via the internet that creates an encrypted space for you to browse safely. Using this encrypted space, you are practically untraceable and all of your information is kept from prying eyes. You can use a VPN to access sites outside of your region, do your banking with peace of mind, or even play your favourite casino games without worrying about your account being hacked. Here are the top 5 VPN providers you can sign up with today: ExpressVPN CyberGhost IP Vanish VPN Vypr VPN Private VPN A VPN can be used every time you connect to the internet via your PC or mobile device. Be sure to find out if the service you choose has a mobile app to download. Playing Safe at an Online Casino If you enjoy spending your time playing at an online casino, there are a few tips you should keep in mind when selecting how and when you log on to your account. Choose a safe online casino – Take your pick of our GamblersPick casinos and to find a site that is legal and licensed. Choosing a casino that is regulated means you’re already in good hands. Play through a VPN – If your casino accepts logins via a VPN, simply set your service to the country your live in and play through the encrypted connection for extra protection. Select a payment provider you trust – Depending on how you want to deposit and withdraw your funds, you should choose a payment that you’re comfortable with. If you prefer to gambling use cryptocurrency, that is possible at many online casinos today too. Protect yourself from hacking and harm as you enjoy your time online and you’ll have the best experience possible. Stay one step ahead of criminals using our tips and always choose a safe online casino to make the most of your time on the internet.