A world of MONEY
As casinos become more involved in the online and mobile worlds, cash handling solution providers are integrating new products and technologies to better process financial transactions in these spaces
Although cash handling products may not have been the main focus of October’s Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas, they were most definitely featured throughout the show, both in vendor booths and as a hot topic in event sessions that focused on the future of mobile and cashless payment solutions.
The conferences showcased the ongoing dichotomy currently present in the casino cash space: the majority of wagering patrons continue to rely on hard cash while at brick-and-mortar gaming facilities, but the future of cash access and payment options in casinos and all other businesses is leaning toward mobile, cashless and other such digital solutions. Faced with this bifurcated market, many vendors have decided to play both sides of the split—offering gaming operators product that streamlines hard currency processes while also introducing and evolving systems and devices focused on digital transaction solutions.
Below is an update on the casino-based payments marketplace, looking at some of the latest products, partnerships and installs from leading cash handling product and system providers.
During G2E 2018, Atrient debuted its latest PowerKiosk V3. The card-printing kiosk now offers advanced security functions, including facial recognition that instantly compares the image on the license with the person standing at the kiosk. A kiosk can hold up to 2,000 cards and print four tiers. It has security alert functionality for under-aged and banned patrons, as well as expired IDs. It can process a club enrollment to all patron systems in 45 seconds, and reprints can take even less time than that.
“Our kiosks’ limits have been pushed many times and they have delivered,” said Sam Attisha, CEO at Atrient. “Including 100,000+ patron cards in less than a month for property grand openings including recently opened MGM Springfield and Hard Rock Atlantic City. They reduced lines at Hard Rock Atlantic City from two hours to less than 10 minutes. Caesars Entertainment is currently doing a system-wide rollout.”
Atrient has contracts to install card-printing kiosks in over 70 new sites in the U.S. alone, and is set to install in Europe next year. The kiosk is capable of reading driver’s licenses from 80 countries and all passports.
“The number one reason a patron goes to a rewards club is for card reprints and enrollments,” said Attisha. “Our kiosks have achieved a 100 percent ROI in year one of operation for nearly all our current clients. The card-printing kiosk has become to rewards clubs what TITO is for the cage.”
Cummins Allison, an innovator of currency, ticket and check processing technology and ATMs, displayed its JetScan MPX 8200 multi-pocket currency sorter that can now strap all six U.S. denominations in one pass at its booth during G2E, also announcing that the JetScan MPX 8200 is now available in Canada.
The new six-strapper functionality increases the capabilities of Cummins Allison’s most advanced high-volume sorter. It allows customers to reduce post-processing work from rejects and increase efficiency in soft count rooms.
“Customers are pleased to now have a choice when looking for multi-pocket sorter solutions to strap all six denominations,” said Frank Janezic, executive vice president, Cummins Allison. “Some customers like to strap all denominations for security and efficiency purposes, while others have fewer strapping needs. With Cummins Allison, customers get what they want: a high quality solution that’s a great value, regardless of the number of strappers they need.”
Further expanding the capabilities of the JetScan MPX 8200 sorter is the ability to process Canadian currency. Casino soft count rooms in Canada can now process 1,200 mixed notes and tickets per minute with up to four strappers, according to press materials.
“The JetScan MPX 8200 is an excellent new option for Canadian customers,” says Patrick Leonard, managing director of Canada. “Casinos that have enjoyed the prior generation can now utilize the faster speeds and 30 percent higher throughput of this new high-volume note and ticket processing solution.”
Everi, the casino gaming industry’s only single source provider of gaming products and financial technology solutions, debuted a comprehensive portfolio of financial technology solutions that optimize casino operations and enhance the guest experience at G2E 2018. Everi FinTech displayed its latest innovations that help operators responsibly deliver more cash to the casino floor and allow casino operators to maintain the highest level of compliance, all while driving gaming and non-gaming revenue.
“Each year, we process more than 100 million transactions across our secure network and drive almost $27 billion onto the floors of our casino partners,” said Michael Rumbolz, president and CEO for Everi. “This scale and our expertise across the gaming industry’s financial technology space uniquely positions Everi to deliver integrated solutions that help casino operators maximize funds delivered to their casino floors while providing their guests with a rich, seamless experience.”
Everi FinTech product demonstrations at G2E 2018 included:
- CashClub Wallet, a sophisticated, interactive digital wallet that consolidates payment options for players when integrated with Everi’s CashClub software and full-service kiosks;
- CashClub Concierge, a personalized cash access cage service for VIPs as well as table games and high-limit room players that integrates mobile tablets and mobile point-of-sale (POS) devices through the CashClub software;
- Fully integrated kiosks including its newest full-service kiosks, the CXC 5.0 and CXC 5.0 L, that offer enhanced security features including self-frosting glass and a real-time rear view camera as well as plentiful branding and marketing space;
- Everi Compliance AML solution, the gold standard for AML compliance across the industry, that provides real-time tracking for all transactions on the casino floor and integrates with all major casino management systems; and
- Jackpot Xpress, a highly intuitive software platform that enables floor staff to securely and efficiently process jackpots using a mobile device (Jackpot Xpress Mobile) right at the player’s gaming machine or at the JackpotXchange Lite kiosk.
GLOBAL PAYMENTS GAMING SOLUTIONS
Global Payments Gaming Solutions has launched the gaming industry’s first mobile solution for true cashless casino gaming, VIP Mobility. This solution offers casino operators the opportunity to reduce their costs while improving the player experience by enabling guests to create digital TITO tickets on their mobile device by scanning an existing voucher or using their VIP Preferred e-check account. Patrons can then pair their mobile device to any slot or table game by scanning a QR code. They can reload from their phone and retrieve funds once they are finished playing.
VIP Mobility provides a number of benefits to casino operators, including: reduced cash handling expenses, more cash in play, limited implementation costs, improved performance metrics, play never interrupted to get cash, enhanced security, reduced AML exposure and automated responsible gaming measures.
JCM Global is a world leading transaction technologies supplier for the banking, retail, kiosk and gaming industries. The company has a line of award-winning and field-proven solutions. Leading the way is the iVIZION bill validator. Field-proven worldwide with more than 250,000 units shipped to date, its CIS technology scans the entire note or ticket, reading more than 9.5 million data points on every note, more than twice that of the nearest competitor, according to press materials.
iVIZION’s partner is the GEN5 thermal printer, and with its faster CPU and faster print speed, it has the flexibility to print TITO and promotional tickets, and various wager tickets and templated promo coupons.
When paired with iVIZION and GEN5, JCM’s cutting-edge FUZION technology creates the possibility for each slot machine to become a multi-line profit center with the current potential to:
- Vend and redeem race and sports betting;
- Vend and redeem lottery tickets;
- Facilitate Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) wagering, the casino’s own or a third party’s;
- Conduct cross-enterprise promotional couponing for carded and uncarded players;
- Enable real-time currency exchange with exchange rates that could be preset or could be real-time; and
- Streamline tax forms processes by printing system-generated tax forms and deliver required documentation to the customer while the back-end system stores the signature forms and data that needs to be delivered to the IRS.
With Konami’s new MarkerTrax, casinos can issue, record, manage and track slot credit that is extended to player accounts directly in SYNKROS for optimal credit collection and AML compliance measures. MarkerTrax allows operators to manage a player’s credit limit in order to provide slot credit directly to a carded patron’s electronic Cashless Wagering Account (CWA). Rather than issuing physical cash in the amount of the marker to a slot player, a PIN-protected CWA is created for the player’s account. Once the credit line is established, the patron can draw down funds via a standard marker and apply them to their CWA account, which can then be used to apply credits directly to any equipped slot machine.
By tracking not only the extension of credit, but the use of the credit, MarkerTrax can improve both credit collections and compliance. It allows patrons to receive information about their slot credit automatically and access electronically from any EGM at any directly affiliated casino. For operators, it creates a verifiable audit trail to ensure that casino credit is played in the casino and not taken elsewhere. SYNKROS with MarkerTrax also prohibits shared accounts, so credit can clearly be traced to the patron who signed the credit application and marker.
MuchBetter, the iGaming payments company, recently announced its global integration with Easy Payment Gateway, the payment gateway API. The MuchBetter application is available to all businesses using the Easy Payment Gateway platform, letting their users deposit and withdraw cash with MuchBetter’s simple and secure payments app. The service is particularly suited to iGaming and Forex merchants, two of Easy Payment Gateway’s core markets.
The deal also follows MuchBetter’s integration with several high-profile gaming operators, such as 888.com, and increasing demand for MuchBetter among Easy Payment Gateway’s iGaming clients, according to press materials.
Easy Payment Gateway handles the technical integration to more than 250 payment methods for some of the biggest names in the iGaming space via its secure API integration. This allows operators to quickly add their players’ preferred payment options, now including MuchBetter, without spending additional money or resources integrating each individual payment option. Gaming operator merchants can also benefit from MuchBetter’s unique commercial model and its implementation of the latest mobile technology such as biometrics.
“Easy Payment Gateway is well-known as a forward-thinking and technology-driven payments platform, and that’s why our integration makes so much sense for both parties,” said Jens Bader, MuchBetter co-founder. “This deal means that iGaming operators can integrate MuchBetter as a new payment service in no time at all though Easy Payment Gateway, following the lead of some of the biggest gaming brands like 888. Working with Easy Payment Gateway is also an exciting new route into the Forex market for MuchBetter, in which our security and user experience aligns perfectly with the needs of users.”
NRT Technologies (NRT), acquired the gaming ATM assets of U.S. Bank National Association (USB). Fifth Third Bank acted as NRT’s lead arranger of a bank syndicate that includes Capital One, CIBC, and Umpqua Bank, for financing of the transaction.
Through this acquisition, NRT now supports ATM processing on ATM’s and TITO Redemption Units (TRU’s) across nearly 300 gaming properties in the U.S... reportedly making it the largest ATM processor in the North American casino market, providing mission critical services to more than 750 gaming clients, including the top 25 largest global gaming operators.
In partnership with Diebold Nixdorf, NRT will be making important upgrades to the acquired ATM fleet with new state-of-the-art ATMs that will not only support traditional ATM and cash advance functions, but also provide mobile engagement through Sightline Play+ and card-less ATM features. NRT and Diebold Nixdorf have an existing partnership with mobility provider, Kony Inc., which will enable a unified and highly personalized mobile guest experience across NRT’s growing portfolio of gaming ATM and TRU devices.
As part of the transaction, NRT has secured an expanded vault cash facility ensuring high cash availability to meet the rigorous cash withdrawal demands of NRT’s gaming operator customers.
“Acquiring this ATM portfolio fits within our strategy of leading in both the cash and cashless payment verticals for casinos,” said John Dominelli, NRT founder and president. “As part of this transaction, we are pleased to welcome key members of the U.S. Bank team to the NRT family. The acquisition will provide a significant boost to NRT’s transaction volume while simultaneously moving NRT into a leadership position in offering advanced, non-traditional financial services through our next generation self-service ATMs and kiosks.”
“NRT’s payment switch technology, commitment to customer service and exciting product roadmap made it a great fit for assuming this portfolio of ATMs,” said Paul Nielsen, vice president and managing director of gaming services for U.S. Bank. “We have full confidence that NRT will continue to provide the high level of customer service and dedication that our clients have come to expect from U.S. Bank.”
Pending receipt of gaming regulatory approvals, NRT and Sightline Payments (Sightline) will merge to become NRT Sightline. NRT and Sightline jointly unveiled a portfolio of payment and guest engagement solutions at G2E.
Among the innovations that NRT Sightline showcased at G2E were Play+ cashless digital payments platform, P2P Encrypted Table Pay and NEO kiosk.
“The gaming and payments worlds are combining and continue to evolve faster today than ever before,” said Kirk Sanford, Sightlines’ founder and CEO. “Our customers don’t need a vendor that cranks out ‘me-too’ products or loosely tosses around fancy fintech words without delivering on their promises; they need an experienced group of professionals who look ahead and invest in creating truly transformational innovations. We’re proud to be that company, that innovator, and that partner for operators and we look forward to showing our vision to everyone at the show.”
NRT Sightline also announced that Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City opened its doors with the full suite of NRT Sightline solutions, including Play+, QJ self-serve kiosks, Cash+ ATM, credit and debit advances, VisuaLimits table signs and analytics, and the full suite of NCC credit and compliance solutions.
“NRT Sightline has invested in cutting-edge technology that gives us a competitive advantage, and we look forward to our long-term partnership with this world-class technology leader,” said Alan Greenstein, chief financial officer of Ocean Resort Casino.
“Ocean Resort Casino is Atlantic City’s showcase property for a truly omni-channel guest experience,” Dominelli added. “As the lines that separate cash and cashless commerce converge in gaming, our solutions remove friction from the payments experience for guests, allowing operators like Ocean to focus on delivering a great customer experience.”
Scientific Games showed its customers its evolving entertainment by transforming the traditional casino into a dynamic space that offers unique social experiences, fosters player interaction and creates immersive environments at G2E. By imagining how players will experience the casino of the future, Scientific Games is evolving land-based gaming and innovating a connected system from casino to mobile to home.
In their booth, Scientific Games demonstrated its unrivaled cardless, cashless, connected player experience and also unveiled a Table Ecosystem of real-time ratings and table game analytics for superior operational performance. Beyond dynamic games, the company offers systems that create a better player experience and a more profitable and informed operator. From the iVIEW 4, which offers cardless loyalty enablement and a cashless wallet to Praxis Analytics, offering intelligent and predictive data that support marketing, loyalty and customer engagement, Scientific Games demonstrated how all the products and systems integrate on the gaming floor.
SUZOHAPP is a technology company providing software and hardware for cash handling automation and self-service solutions to more than 25,000 customers throughout the world. The company’s solutions include cash deposit, recycling, processing and payment systems as well as a range of self-service component technologies.
At this year’s G2E, SUZOHAPP modeled a cashier’s cage demonstration and presented a range of CashComplete solutions coupled with its CashComplete Connect monitoring software.
Amongst its introductions was the company’s new ICX Active-9, the all-in-one solution for any coin sorting need. The ICX Active-9 represents the new mid-range class of sorters and leverages best-in-class technology from the SCAN COIN ICP Active-9 that has become the benchmark for high volume sorters. This new solution has been developed for medium-duty usage in multiple market segments. Its Active Sorting Technology features: multiple currencies processed, very high throughput, multiple set-ups and configurations, according to press materials.
“We’re very pleased to add this new high performance solution to our portfolio,” said Alexander Bucur, vice president global product management. “The ICX Active-9 can dramatically boost your business by increasing productivity, security and efficiency.”
The ICX Active-9 makes use of the same firmware as the ICP Active-9 platform. This gives complete control over the ability to reprogram the sensors in order to adapt the ICX Active-9 to accept any future new coins and inhibit coin types that are taken out of circulation. It contains nice coin outlets and a reject outlet. Multiple coins/tokens can be sorted into the same bag and coins of the same diameter can be separated into different bags, to remove legacy coins. The ICX Active-9 excels with its ability to process up to 2,700 coins/tokens per minute, and processes all coins with its innovative built-in rotating disc and driving rubber belt. Furthermore, it offers comprehensive statistics to ensure that all coins can be instantly traced.
SUZOHAPP also recently announced its recent partnership with Everi Payments Inc. The partners’ integrated solution will streamline cash management operations using advanced automation technology. The fully integrated solution will accelerate and advance cash management and automation within the gaming industry.
“Cash Management is generally an area of untapped efficiency in a casino,” said Ron Partridge, SUZOHAPP president, Americas. “Beyond bringing to the partnership advanced hardware, SUZOHAPP will also provide Everi with a core platform capability, through our CashComplete software, that will unify what is now a multi-pronged operations model into one comprehensive, automated, payment management solution.”
TransAct Technologies is a leader in developing software-driven technology and printing solutions for high-growth markets including restaurant solutions, POS automation, casino and gaming, lottery and oil and gas. The company’s solutions are designed from the ground up based on customer requirements and are sold under the AccuDate, EPICENTRAL, Epic, Ithaca and Printrex brands.
TransAct has over 3 million printers and terminals installed around the world and is committed to providing world-class service, spare parts and accessories to support its installed product base, according to press materials.
The company demonstrated how its ground-breaking Epic Edge ticket-in/ticket-out (TITO) printer can provide an edge over the competition when it comes to creating razor sharp barcodes and eye-catching graphics on printed tickets across gaming floors at G2E. TransAct’s display highlighted the company’s full lineup of casino, gaming and lottery printers and software solutions, including the latest editions of its innovative Epicentral software-driven bonusing solution and its TITO and roll-fed printers for casino, gaming and lottery applications.
“TransAct has long offered print and bonusing solutions that allow casino, gaming and lottery operators to get an edge over their competition. With our Epic Edge, we are bringing to gaming floors worldwide new technology that takes printer capabilities to the next level,” said Bart C. Shuldman, chairman and CEO of TransAct Technologies.
The next-generation Epic Edge is the choice in TITO printing for global casino operators, designed for easy implementation across all gaming floors. Currently being installed and approved by the leading gaming device OEMs, operators selecting the Epic Edge could benefit from a number of significant technology enhancements led by its 300 dpi print resolution. Representing a 50 percent improvement over current industry offerings, this unmatched new standard in print resolution easily delivers sharper barcodes for better ticket acceptance which will drive a real reduction in attendant calls and a tangible improvement in floor performance, according to press materials. The Epic Edge’s 300 dpi print resolution may also create eye-catching, dynamic graphic images on printed tickets, making it ideal for implementation alongside bonusing applications such as TransAct’s Epicentral. Additionally, the Epic Edge allows for firmware updates via a full speed USB 2.0 connection or directly via a micro SD card, driving increased convenience and making the process of updating firmware speedier than ever. Other features of the Epic Edge include a single rugged outer chassis with color coded rails, numerous port options (Serial, USB and Netplex), hot swap capability to eliminate game downtime and a faster ServerPort connection. Operators could also benefit from its adjustable ticket bucket which can accommodate standard and smaller, paper-saving tickets.
Omnia, the world’s first AI-built and compliance-led online casino, has integrated leading payments provider Trustly’s new Pay N Play technology to instantly recognize verified customers, allowing them to deposit and play in seconds, and withdraw funds in less than five minutes.
Omnia is one of only a handful of casino brands to use the innovative payments method in this way, enabling pre-KYC checked Swedish customers to instantly deposit and enjoy Omnia’s casino content using a unique individual bank ID, according to press materials.
Each player in Sweden must first undertake KYC checks with their bank and, once verified, receive a unique bank ID number. This enables Omnia to instantly recognize fully compliant and age-verified players, who simply use their ID to log into the site and deposit in a matter of seconds and withdraw winnings in under five minutes.
Using Trustly will reportedly be the only way for new customers to deposit, ahead of the country’s regulated online gaming market opening in January 2019. As a result, Omnia players in Sweden will be able to deposit, play and withdraw in the most rewarding, secure and responsible environment available on the market.
“Combining Pay N Play with our unique product offering and compliance mindset will provide Swedish customers with a superior product and allow Omnia to become a significant brand as the market regulates in January 2019,” said Sam Hobcraft, founder of Omnia Casino. “Using Trustly’s unique bank ID system the player registration process will become almost non-existent, and we will only need to capture a few details and allow the player to agree to the appropriate T&C’s. This is unique and excellent customer experience.
“The major benefit is that every Omnia player will already be pre-checked, age-verified and compliant, meaning instant access to all of our great games and withdrawals in just five minutes. Very few online casinos are offering this product in this way right now putting us one step ahead in giving our customers the most responsible and rewarding casino experience in the market.”