Online Casinos’ Know Your Customer (KYC) Process; Why all the digital paperwork?
As online casino players, we all like the thrill of spinning reels or the anticipation of a winning round at a table game. With an online casino acount we don’t even have to leave the house or we can play wherever we are from our mobile device. With this great convenience also comes a process that is considered a nuissance by many players; an online casino know-your-customer process, or KYC for short. This article allows you to find out why the KYC process is necessary and how it can keep you as an online casino player safe.
What is the Know Your Customer Process?
Most online casinos make it very easy for you to register an account to make your first deposit so you can play great games for real money winnings straight away. In addition to filling in your personal details, some casinos want to have proof of identity to make sure you are who you say you are. There are many casinos that don’t ask this of you upon sign up, but do want a lot of paperwork when you want to cash out any winnings. The request for documents is part of an online casinos Know Your Customer- KYC- process. It is exactly what it says on the proverbial tin:
An online casino wants to know who you, their customer, are. As a player you can log in and place your wagers with a username you can choose and often this username is public on the casino site. However, your account needs to registered to your official name and when you sign up you need to provide the casino with your true address and phone number in addition to your name. Your mobile phone number is often used to verify your account. This means once you have filled in all your details to register your account, you receive and SMS text message with a code you need to enter to make your newly registered account fully operational.
As mentioned in the introduction, on some occassions you also need to provide prove of identity in the form of a copy of an ID card, passport or driving licence. Many casinos want to make the sign up process as easy as possible and only ask for this documentation when you submit a withdrawal request.
Why is the KYC process necessary?
As you probably know, bonafide online casinos operate with a licence from a reputable online gambling authority. Examples of these gambling authorities are the UK Gambling Commission, the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). There are several other igaming authorities that might be less well-known, yet are considered reliable institutions.
These include the Alderney Gambling Control Commissions and authorities in countries such as Sweden, Estonia and the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao. For any online casino to get and keep a gambling licence from any of these authorities, it needs to adhere to strict rules and regulations. These rules and regulations are in place to provide you as a player with a safe and secure online gambling environment.
This means that your personal data is protected, an online casino is not involved in any illegal activity such as money laundering, and that you can expect to be paid out when you make a withdrawal request.
This process is also in place to protect the casino from illegal practices by online casino players. If a player at at an online casino uses their account for money laundering purposes, a casino runs the risk of losing their licence.
Online Casino Security measures
Security measures that trustworthy online casinos have to apply include SSL encryption technology. This technology makes sure that any data you enter on and send via the site is encrypted, to make it very difficult for third parties to intercept this data and use it for fraudulent activity. You need to provide prove of identity and residency so an online casino can be sure that you have only one account at that particular casino.
You can use account for entertainment purposes only and not for any illegal activity. When you make a payment request you also have to prove that the bank account or card you want to receive you payment on is yours. If the payment method is not in your name, you need to submit proof of identity of the owner of the card or bank account you would like to use and approval of the owner. This process can take the fun out of playing and winning online but just know that most of these rules are in place to protect you.
Giving you more of what you want
In addition to providing you with a safe and secure gaming environment, an online casino, like any company also wants to know who their customers are for marketing purposes. An online casino wants to know what games their players like, how long they play for and what type of bonuses they are interested in. This way a casino can give you more of what you like and be more specific in their marketing communications.
If you feel that something is missing at the online casino you are playing at, you are free to contact customer support to make your wishes known. If you are keen on a certain bonus a customer service agent might be able to fulfil your wishes straight away. If your request is a bit more complex or takes time to fulfil, such as the availability of a certain game, prize draw or tournament, an agent can set the ball in motion for you.
Online Casino Delaying tactics
Although the KYC process is mainly in place for your benefit, there are a few online casinos, even those operating with proper licences, that use the process as a delaying tactic to take as much time to pay you your money when you have made a withdrawal request. They might ask for additional documentation or claim the paper work you provide is not clear enough. Sometimes these requests are genuine. Other times an online casino can use this to delay your requested pay out in the hope you cancel the request and spend your winnings at the casino. If you feel this is the case, you can take this up at the online casino in question or even file a complete at the licencing gambling authority.
Although you might find the know your customer process tiresome and perhaps unnecessary, know that a reputable online casino needs to have this process in place. The KYC process has the aim to give you the most secure gaming environment and help you receive the most appropriate marketing material. Whenever you feel an online casino uses this process as an obstruction, don’t hesitate to report this to the casino and/ or gaming authority.