What Is the Future of Digital Payments in Italy?

By | July 30, 2021

Italian news on finance reports that digital payments have been on the rise in the country’s retail sector for the last few years, with the global pandemic increasing the demand to pay online.

According to Samuele Fraternali, Director of Digital Content & Online Gaming at Observatory, Italians have spent around €178bn on digital transactions in 2020. Italy’s government supports cashless payments endorsing regulations such as state cashback and receipt lottery.

As for the gambling industry, although the market has experienced a 90 percent revenue decrease in 2020-2021, there was a 49 percent growth in terms of money spent by players while gambling online.

The panel of experts, “Gaming & Payments”, explored the benefits and opportunities of the digital payment system in the country during the second day of the SBC Digital Italia event.

Experts’ opinion: digital and traditional payments will coexist

Daniele Tagliarini, Managing Director at Okto Payments, has outlined that the trend for cashless isn’t new in the country, but the COVID-19 pandemic has helped users to get a better understanding of digital payments. However, it should be noted that Italians, nevertheless, tend to use cash in gambling venues more than other Europeans. That’s why it is important to have a multi-channel payment system, where offline and online transactions coexist.

When speaking about the benefits of digital payments for the gambling sector, the expert has lined out two key points:

an ability to comply with the existing legislation, as the age verification and antifraud monitoring are both available online;
more flexible and streamlined gambling integrations.

Piero Martellotta, a regional sales director at Suzohapp, shares Tagliarini’s view on the Italian payment system, adding that the widespread adoption of online transactions can reduce the costs linked to the management of cash. The expert has also stated that online payments have benefits in terms of hygiene, as cash transactions are discouraged during the pandemic.

Michele Bragantini, President of the Optima Gaming Service, has pointed out some of the existing restrictions in the online payment sector from a technical standpoint. The expert highlights the risks of theft and increased costs for money transfers. On top of that, many amusement machines in shopping malls and family entertainment centers are limited to cash. At the same time, these devices frequently crash due to dust on the banknotes damaging the internal mechanisms. According to Bragantini, cashless payments can also help to establish customer-oriented processes at slot rooms, such as happy hours promotions.

Although the traceability of digital transactions can help to form an adequate marketing strategy and identify problem players, some users, according to the expert, view this as a threat to their privacy.

When answering the question about the future of online payments, the experts have unanimously stated that they expect clear regulations on the matter. Piero Martellotta has also added that imposing hourly loss limits could benefit the industry.

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