Our case study takes a closer look at India’s favourite deposit and withdrawal methods and best payment service providers (PSP) that make online casinos the safe and secure choice for millions.
The multitude of payment means – from eBanking to eWallets, from cryptocurrencies to debit or credit cards – contributes to an already highly competitive Indian online casino market. Efficiently integrated payment frameworks allow operators to meet player demands across currencies, locations and possible technical limitations on the user’s end.
Top PSP in online casino payments
Our research team did in fact confirm some anticipated trends but also uncovered certain particular features that help us understand better our players and the market as a whole.
Younger online gamblers drive the adoption of fintech and crypto payments;
Larger gaming communities uphold the dominant position of local eBanking options;
Bank cards issued by international circuits (VISA and Mastercard) continue to decline in importance;
eWallets turn out to be an easy solution across demographic groups.
The above pie chart represents the shares of the most commonly used PSP companies by India’s online casino platforms. Regardless of payment methods (see explanation on main industry terms below), the top 5 payment providers have the following relative shares in handling player payments on Pure Win:
Paymentz, a Mumbai-based fintech startup, leads with 38.38%, Apco comes next with 25.76%, followed by Payneteasy with 10.76%. Also widely accepted, Gate2Way (9.04%) and Ezeebill (4.71%) round up the top five.
Payment methods are a much more user-friendly topic to address, as players know where their money is better than who actually handles it behind the scenes. Segmented this way, we see eBanking (electronic banking channels enabled by the user’s financial institution of choice) clearly dominate the payments market with an 82.67% share. In the end, eBanking is the preferred payment method of around or over 3/4 of users in all age groups.
Digital wallets (or eWallets) – apps or fintech interfaces that channel existing accounts or prepaid funds to third-party payment platforms – are also in continuous growth across India. These solutions are popular across all user types and online spending patterns. Regardless of the source of funds deposited in the eWallet, the latter holds a stable market share of 12.91%.
As for direct card payments, VISA has a 3.02% share, while Mastercard has only 1.21%. These are in line with a trend in the Indian payments market – not only related to online gambling – that has been in focus for the past few years. International card circuits have been steadily declining, losing ground to Indian fintech solutions and the local RuPay card circuit.
On one hand, the native desi card system has been on the market only since 2012 but saw a massive boost from government schemes of financial inclusion and welfare programs directly linked to RuPay cards. On the other hand, the Reserve Bank of India banned Mastercard from onboarding new customers for over a year, only to lift the restrictions in June 2022. Similar limitations still exist on the likes of American Express and Diners Club, making the market increasingly unwelcoming to foreign banks and card circuits.
Finally, although cryptocurrencies have been a hot topic for a number of years, many end-users still do not trust the market for anything other than risk investments. Crypto payments for real-money gaming is nothing new, of course, with casinos accepting bitcoin and at least a couple of other virtual assets becoming the norm. Currently, however, Pure Win players respond with slightly under 0.20% of their payments in crypto.
We have examined our own primary databases. Business Intelligence pulled out the aggregate (and anonymous) markers for payment flows as reported back by PSPs – in terms of chosen methods, average amounts, frequencies, geographical distribution and main demographic traits of users. The timeframe of the trial was a full year lasting from September 2021 to September 2022.
Among the identified payment methods, most users (85.74%) used only one type for their deposit and/or withdrawal. Still, 12.55% used two methods while 1.71% used three or more kinds.
We have segmented payment activity by:
Method – eBank, Crypto, eWallet, Card (VISA/Mastercard);
Payment Service Provider (PSP);
State of origin;
User gender (male/female);
Age and age group (18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-65, 65+);
Currency (INR, USD, EUR);
First deposit vs subsequent payment/transaction.
At this point, we probably need to (briefly) clarify the difference in the concept and roles of PSPs, payment methods, gateways, handling platforms and anything else that helps understand the digital payments market.
As noted above, Payment Service Providers (PSP) are third-party companies that provide online payment support to enterprises, in our case online casinos. Regardless of accepted payment methods – eWallets, credit cards, eBank transfers or any other payment means – these PSPs need to create operator accounts for the online casinos, enabling them to send, receive and manage digital payments.
The payment gateway, on the other hand, is the software itself that handles the transactions between the users and the operator (casino or other merchants). PSPs are the ones that pass a series of strict financial and technical controls that guarantee that their gateway and the transactions it handles are secure and safe.
PSPs are, in fact, a kind of digital banking company, even if most might not have a full range of banking solutions to offer (or even retail licenses) to end users. To give a familiar example, PSPs operating in India are usually members of the UPI platform, the leading banking network in the Union. The UPI facility enables the very payments between users and online sites, while PSPs make it possible through their software gateways.
Making a first-time deposit (FTD) is usually a matter of trust. Having chosen an online casino to play for real money after careful consideration (and possibly a few casino reviews), players may act differently than if the gaming platform in question was visited routinely.
We still see that eBanking leads among selected payment methods (72.98%), albeit almost 10% less than payments made by regular users. More than half of banking FTDs on Pure Win happen to be processed by Apco, with 54.95%.
First-time depositors show that eWallets deserve their trust more than other routine payments down the line, with 22% FTD made via this method. Nearly three-quarters of those (74%) are handled by Gate2Way, followed by AstroPayCard.
All other options are noticeably behind, although cryptocurrency payments post a level of FTD confidence that is more than tenfold higher than their performance as regular deposit methods – 2.21%. Even VISA rates lower at 2.06%.
This behaviour can be interpreted as a willingness to try out a real-money gaming platform behind the technical shield of the highest degree of payment anonymity. Although it must be said, Know-Your-Customer policies (KYC) almost always eliminate such possibilities, leaving only taxation of winnings as less traceable, in a way.
If we compare the average amounts of FTD transactions with subsequent payment amounts, we see that the initial player deposits are (understandably) lower.
Based on average FTDs of around ₹3,300, we can see that only eWallet payments peak slightly at ₹4,252, followed by cryptocurrency transactions. Again, the perception of less direct and better-protected payment methods – for both types when compared to personal bank accounts and cards – makes them the choice of first-time depositors.
The table below shows an extended list of the PSPs that handle the main payment methods for Pure Win after and not including the first-time deposit transactions.
Clearly, the average amounts shoot up across the board when compared to FTDs. This is particularly true of cryptocurrencies, followed by Mastercard transactions, albeit both representing a small share of the total count (see below broken down on a State and age basis).
Overall, we have barely 0.16% of all transactions carried out in foreign currency, mostly in US dollars and some in EUR. The overwhelming majority of Indian players confirm our observations that they seek to make deposits and withdrawals in rupees.
Our team occasionally finds “outliers” and unusual indicators in its studies. In online gambling, we could argue this is the case of high-rollers, those who are not afraid to commit large amounts to their gaming passion. Those, of course, also have the financial means to do so.
Peak activity – both in terms of amounts and frequency – was detected in a 25-year-old male from Dhaka (Bangladesh) via a Skrill eWallet. Apparently, an Indian-themed online casino is something which is appreciated in neighbouring countries as well.
Somewhat surprisingly, the top payment amounts came from a 31-year-old female from Andhra Pradesh (eBanking via Apco). These were almost matched by a 26-year-old male from Telangana.
Naturally, these users do not define the standard profile of Pure Win players. We need to outline their typical characteristics to understand and support them better, including their payment needs and preferences.
Based on the overall age structure of surveyed players, we see that the highest number of instances (counts) of payment transactions came from the cohort aged between 25 and 34. These are usually young married men, playing for fun between professional tasks or household chores. Recently, a similar profile was shown to be true for both sports betting enthusiasts and online casino players.
Females have deposited only 2.75% of the time, although the average amounts are quite high at ₹10,428 – somewhat distorted by female high-rollers, yet a notable figure nonetheless.
The deposits made by males (the remaining 97.25% of the total count) showed an average amount of ₹7,394, much closer to the median and, by the nature of their dominant share, defining the typical transaction we’ve seen over the course of the year under study.
Payment methods chosen by age groups
Breaking down payment methods further between the main age groups, we see some additional features of player behaviour. Younger users start to move away from a bank-first payment paradigm to a new fintech reality – e-wallets and crypto (together) are already over a quarter among 18-to-24 year-olds. Both these “novel” payment methods decline as player age goes up.
Crypto payments are mostly peaking in states like Tamil Nadu, NCT Delhi, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Telangana (see state figures below). Similar usage distribution is generally true for eWallets, also supported by solid usage shares among other young and middle-aged players (25-34 and 45-54).
Ultimately, bank transactions remain dominant across all age cohorts; however, it peaks among those aged 35 and up. Card payments are waning as preferred methods, particularly among younger Indians.
It is almost too easy to justify choosing Uttar Pradesh (being the most populated state) or the Capital Delhi (a prime example of a well-developed territory) as sources of heavy or particularly indicative online casino traffic. We have already examined the way India’s tech and economic hubs exercise their undeniable impact on the online gambling scene.
In the table below, we extend the in-depth analysis of 8 States and UT the payment transaction figures of which are significant, one way or another – be it because of sheer volume or because they are illustrative of the trends that outline the payments market.
We can easily note that:
Andhra Pradesh (as the State with the second-highest transaction count) is a state which goes closest to the national averages in all categories;
NCT Delhi has the highest average amounts and shares in a number of segments – highest share and record amounts of Crypto payments; peak amounts in eWallets and second-highest usage shares. Delhi also records the highest average deposit amount overall;
Karnataka brings in the most payment transactions of all states; it also has the highest eBanking usage and the top average card transaction amounts;
Maharashtra also relies heavily on direct electronic banking and has the lowest crypto or eWallet usage among the leading states. This is somewhat surprising given the presence of innovation centres like Mumbai and Pune, however large populations often tend to “normalize” the influence of pioneer behaviour;
In Punjab (including the UT of Chandigarh, its joint capital with Haryana), we see high crypto payment shares and amounts; however, there is also consistent bank card usage to this day;
Tamil Nadu has the third highest transaction count and otherwise average payment figures across all method types;
Telangana has the highest eBank transaction amounts on average;
Uttar Pradesh, the State with the largest population in the nation, has the lowest bank and card usage shares, while it peaks in crypto transaction amounts (second-highest) and records the highest eWallet usage shares of all states on focus. UP also has the lowest average player age (31.66) of all surveyed territories and by a few years at that!
As a result of the primary dataset analysis, we can safely claim that the payment methods we accept at Pure Win cover sufficiently the leading deposit and withdrawal methods that are in demand among online casino players in India.
Transferring money out of one’s personal bank account is, on average, the preferred source among at least three-quarters of users across demographic groups. However, the lower the player age, the higher the probability that they would choose a fintech solution like an eWallet (preferably a native Indian one) or even a crypto payment gateway. This is visible, particularly as a trend in states like Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and the NCT of Delhi.
Currency conversion is not an issue among depositors, although the majority naturally tends to play in rupees even when an offshore casino is based or licensed in a jurisdiction which favours USD or EUR payments.
The competition which is evident among online casino operators is also present in PSP, payment methods and software solutions. This streamlines the market and ultimately creates benefits for the players in terms of efficiency, safety and ease of use.