PayNearMe expands into online gaming, mobile sports betting Mark Gruetze, CDC Gaming Reports · April 20, 2021 at 1:06 pm Fans of igaming and mobile sports betting expect to take money out of their accounts as quickly and easily as putting it in, Jeremy Enke says. That transaction speed will become increasingly important as in-game sports betting takes hold in the United States this year, probably by the start of the NFL season, adds Enke, the Strategic iGaming Lead for PayNearMe. The company processes cash deposits for 95 percent of the sports betting and igaming operators throughout the United States. PayNearMe uses Apple Pay and Google Pay, as well as other methods, to move money between customers and businesses. “Let’s say my (sports betting) account all of a sudden is down to zero and I need to redeposit 20 bucks or whatever,” Enke says. “Just a couple of clicks and I’m right back in the action.” PayNearMe, based in Santa Clara, Calif., launched in 2009 with an initial goal of allowing businesses and government agencies to accept cash from underserved consumers at retailers in their neighborhoods. The federal government says almost a quarter of U.S. households have no bank account or even if they do, must use nonbank financial services, such as payday loans. Nationwide, PayNearMe has partnered with more than 27,000 retail locations, including many 7-Eleven, CVS, and Family Dollar stores, to accept cash payments that are transferred to other businesses, including consumer-finance companies, property-management firms and insurers. Individuals using PayNearMe receive a unique bar code that allows them to make their rent or loan payments, for example, in cash at a participating retailer. In 2018, the company began processing debit, credit, and ACH transactions, or electronic money transfers. The company handles billions of dollars’ worth of transactions annually. While gaming customers currently account for less than half of its business, PayNearMe’s sports betting clients include William Hill, BetMGM, and FanDuel. It is licensed as a money transmitter in all states and has a gaming license in all states offering igaming or mobile sports betting. According to Enke, PayNearMe is the only payment processor for the gaming industry that handles cash payments, as well as debit, credit, and ACH transactions, in a single platform. He says an easy-to-use payout method is essential for attracting and keeping mobile-betting customers. PayNearMe is one of the first gaming payment processors that can move money from online betting accounts to a debit card, making the cash available almost instantly. “Operators make it really easy to get money onto the site to gamble with them,” he says. “But sometimes it’s a little more difficult to withdraw money. From a player’s perspective, that’s probably one of the biggest friction points.” PayNearMe has a “laser focus” on igaming, he says, and does not offer a cashless payment system for traditional casinos. “We’re trying to innovate within the igaming space and emerge as the payment processor that simplifies everything for the operators,” Enke says. The PayNearMe application is customizable, so it can match the color and feel of an operator’s betting app. Enke says Millennials and members of Generation Z, two of the key customer segments for igaming and sports betting, are prime users of Apple Pay and Google Pay. While PayNearMe and other gaming payment processors offer credit, debit, and ACH transactions, Enke says his company keeps its eye on evolving methods of money-handling. “Dial back 20 years ago and people were still writing checks at the grocery store. You don’t see that anymore.” “We want to look at emerging methods of deposits that players want and will use and feel comfortable with, and then integrate that into our platform. That’s what we’ve done with Apple Pay and Google Pay, and any other emerging tenders will be on the forefront.” The PayNearMe interface allows players to select the source of their deposits into an online betting account: cash, through the company’s network of retailers in every state; Apple Pay or Google Pay; credit card; or bank debit card. Betting-account withdrawals go to a debit card or bank account. The interface also offers operators the ability to contact players through a text, email or push notification containing a link that takes them directly to the deposit screen.