Meet the money man: Lorenzo Pellegrino
Lorenzo Pellegrino, CEO of Skrill and NETELLER, talks to Find My UK Casino about how the business is fighting off competition from rival eWallets to ensure it remains the payment method of choice for online casino players
Skrill and NETELLER are popular with online casino players because they provide security, simplicity and near-instant transaction times.
For these reasons and more, they are offered at all of the best online casinos and certainly the ones recommended by Find My UK Casino.
But Skrill and NETELLER are facing increasing competition from new payment providers such as PayPal, Revolut and Apple Pay which are now hugely popular with players.
So what is Paysafe and Lorenzo Pellegrino doing to ensure Skrill and NETELLER remain the eWallets of choice for online casino players in the UK and beyond?
We spoke to Skrill and NETELLER CEO Lorenzo Pellegrino to find out more.
Find My UK Casino (FMUC): Thanks for chatting to us Lorenzo. Let’s dive straight into the deep end. How are you ensuring players continue to use Skrill and NETELLER despite new payment methods being offered by online casino brands?
Lorenzo Pellegrino (LP): By offering our users a better service and more perks than our rivals. Both Skrill and NETELLER are widely available among online casinos, so by using our wallets you are able to wager with multiple sites using just your email address and password.
Also our VIP and rewards programmes are second to none. VIP members can enjoy benefits such as higher daily withdrawal limits at ATMs, anniversary reward points, lower fees, a dedicated VIP manager, free money transfers and more.
FMUC: Why are Skrill and NETELLER such popular payment methods for online casino players? What benefits do they offer above other payment options such as debit card and bank transfer?
LP: Skrill and NETELLER are the digital wallets of choice for online casinos for many reasons. Both digital wallets offer gamers the ability to securely fund their gaming accounts with their preferred payment methods such as credit card or bank transfer and pay at multiple operators with just an email address and password.
The wallet also supports payouts and the storage of winnings, and deposits and withdrawals are made instantly once a wallet account is fully operational. We also offer a dedicated VIP programme which offers players additional benefits such as higher limits, multi-currency options, dedicated account managers and reduced transaction fees.
FMUC: Why are Skrill and NETELLER among the fastest payment methods when it comes to deposits and withdrawals?
LP: Our service offers very quick withdrawals because of our relationships with the casino and gambling operators which enables them to make the payouts almost instantly into a wallet account. There is also no third-party processor involved with the withdrawal. Customers can access their funds in their wallet instantly or use their Skrill or NETELLER prepaid card.
FMUC: How do you ensure transactions made via Skrill and NETELLER are safe and secure? Are transactions as secure as other payment options?
LP: Skrill and NETELLER are supported by industry-leading security systems and processes. For example, we use industry-certified Payment Card Industry (PCI)-compliant risk management and fraud prevention services which include state-of-the-art monitoring technologies that automatically scan transactions to identify suspicious activity, velocity, geo-location and computer fingerprinting among other things.
In fact, Skrill and NETELLER provide some of the highest levels of security by deploying a 256-bit SSL encryption alongside multiple firewalls for added protection. Our services are also PCI DSS compliant and our parent company, Paysafe, is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to provide payment services in the UK.
FMUC: Why do Skrill and NETELLER charge transaction fees? And why do some online casino operators charge their own fees on top of this when players use Skrill or NETELLER
LP: We’re committed to keeping fees low but in order to offer the benefits that our wallets provide, we charge fees for deposits and withdrawals. Although some online casinos do charge a small fee for players depositing and withdrawing with our wallets, many don’t, and we receive no part of it. Any further fees as part of a transaction are a decision made by the operator and not something which is influenced by Skrill or NETELLER.
FMUC: How are Skrill and NETELLER innovating and improving to meet the changing demands of the online casino sector and online casino players, particularly in the UK market?
LP: Players are becoming more and more used to having the choice of how to make payments. Consumer expectations as to when and on which devices they are able make payments, and also expectations of the speed of transaction, are vastly higher than they were only a few years ago.
Players expect to be offered the greatest possible choice of deposit and cash out methods from operators, and to be able to make these transactions immediately and using mobile devices. Online gaming and sports betting is already trending towards being a mobile-first industry and will no doubt become even more so.
We’re always developing our services to meet these types of demands and become even more user friendly. We also regularly enhance our VIP and rewards schemes which helps us to remain competitive in the market.
FMUC: A number of online casino brands have received fines from the UK Gambling Commission over anti-money laundering failings. How are you working with online casinos and regulators to ensure this does not happen?
LP: Gaming regulators across Europe do a great job of helping to evolve the industry to enhance the player experience in a safe and responsible way and we work closely with them on a number of initiatives. All Skrill and NETELLER accounts have standard verification requirements in line with local regulation and best practice, and all account holders follow the same processes.
Our verification processes include the provision of social security numbers, forms of identification, geo-location checks as well as conventional fraud detection techniques such as bank account checks which are still the most widely used verification methods in the UK. Using these we are able to significantly reduce the risk of fraud and chargebacks.
As part of our relationship with casino operators, we provide chargeback protection. This means all of the transactions we handle are guaranteed which gives the casinos peace of mind.
FMUC: A couple of questions about you, if that is ok? How did you become the CEO of Skrill and NETELLER?
LP: I’ve been a part of the Paysafe family for over 15 years now, having worked at both Optimal Payments (which became Paysafe) and previously Skrill (known as Moneybookers at the time).
During that time we’ve seen new technology, such as mobile, transform the industry. New regulation has also driven complex changes for the industry to keep up with – finance and gaming are two of the most heavily-regulated industries in the world.
One thing for sure about payments and fintech as a whole is that it never stands still. Whether it’s new regulation or new technology, the one constant is the pace of change.
FMUC: Can you tell us a little bit more about your role as the CEO of Skrill and NETELLER? What do your day to day tasks include and what are your wider responsibilities?
LP: As the CEO of Skrill and NETELLER I’m responsible for setting the strategy for these businesses and sharing our vision with the wider leadership team here who in turn make sure everything runs as it should do.
These two digital wallets offer a number of other services including the ability to send money internationally or the option to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.
Skrill and NETELLER are part of a larger international payments company, Paysafe, so part of my role involves collaborating with the rest of the group which also includes payment solutions like paysafecard.
I oversee some other Paysafe services including Rapid Transfer, which enables payments made by direct bank transfer, and Income Access which provides affiliate marketing services to the gambling industry. We also issue prepaid cards on behalf of operators in different verticals, such Coinbase.
I feel incredibly grateful to do what I do. I am lucky that my role involves meeting interesting people, travelling the world and being surrounded by talented colleagues every day.