Open Banking Helps Sazka Verify Online Players Faster

Like many other industries, the games and lottery business has turned digital. Football fans can place their bet online, just two minutes before a match starts (or even during the match!) and they can cheer for their favorite team from the comfort of their home.

However, the industry is also very heavily regulated by governments. And for a good reason. Some people fall into gambling, and the addiction can completely ruin their lives.

According to the latest legislation in the Czech Republic, games and lottery companies must verify the identity of their online players. This verification (both KYC and AML) is required so that a player can be checked against the registry of “disallowed players” and denied betting in case he/she is in the registry. This way, people who are in bankruptcy or a difficult social situation, or even have a gambling problem already, are protected from falling into a gambling trap. Careful player verification is hence a crucial step to make online betting safer.

Complication Even for the Largest Ones

This requirement caused a big issue even to Sazka, the largest games and lottery company in the Czech Republic. Since Sazka had no online process for this type of strong identity verification and building it from scratch would be costly and complicated, Sazka originally had to resort to verifying their clients offline, by visiting branches or kiosks. Which, indeed, is not very convenient.

However, some companies already verify their clients: the banks.

Could Banks Save the Day?

Banks must verify their clients very carefully before they can open a bank account for them. Furthermore, with the PSD2 legislation, they all invested in open banking and API initiatives. And — probably the most important thing — virtually every adult in the Czech Republic has a bank account.

So, the natural question then is:

Could the identity banks already have be used for verifying people online?

Yes — it could! :)

Open Banking > PSD2

Open banking, namely the ability to electronically exchange an identity of a bank customer, now allows Sazka to verify new players faster, fully online, with just a few clicks, and with a very high level of precision.

We are happy that we were able to help Sazka deliver this cool technology much faster. Thanks to our Bank business card solution, Sazka was instantly able to connect to three large Czech banks including the largest one and cover a large portion of the local retail market.

This example shows that open banking is so much more than just the PSD2 that everybody talks about. But it also shows that one regulation can have unexpected positive consequences — without the PSD2, this type of online identity verification would be hardly possible…