Banking Fees Comparision

Explore all the different fee types that iGaming companies should consider when evaluating fintech banks

Payment Accounts
July 8, 2024
5 min read

From transaction fees and account maintenance costs to currency conversion charges and integration expenses, here’s what banking fees for online gambling businesses look like in 2024.

The iGaming industry, encompassing online casinos, sportsbooks, and various gaming platforms, has experienced remarkable growth in recent years. As this sector continues to thrive, iGaming companies must find efficient and reliable banking solutions to support their operations. Enter fintech banks – financial institutions that leverage cutting-edge technology to provide banking services built to serve specific business models and industries.

Use our banking fees comparison tables to help get an idea of the fees offered by some major banking players. Read on to explore all the different fee types that iGaming companies should consider when evaluating fintech banks as their financial partners.

Disclaimer: this article is for informational purposes only, and should not be treated as financial, legal, or any other advice.

How fintech banks support online transactions in the iGaming sector

Fintech banks support online gambling businesses in several crucial ways, including:

Seamless payment processing

iGaming companies need to be able to accept customer deposits and facilitate customers’ withdrawal of funds quickly and easily. Fintech banks provide payment processing solutions that often enable players to use a wide variety of payment methods, including credit and debit cards, bank transfers, and even e-wallets (for digital currencies). Additionally, these systems are set up to allow transactions to occur very quickly (in some cases, instantaneously), so that players can conveniently and comfortably move their funds.

Online payment systems integration

To provide effective payment solutions, fintech banks regularly integrate popular online payment systems and gateways into the payment process. iGaming companies can then provide their customers with smooth payment journeys that positively influence players’ overall experience.

Compliance and regulatory support

As the iGaming industry is heavily regulated, Fintech banks play a role in assisting their business customers with navigating and adhering to complex compliance requirements. This includes anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) regulations.

Segregation of player funds

Many jurisdictions require online gambling companies to segregate player funds from operational funds. To facilitate this, fintech banks have specialised account structures and services that ensure player funds are protected. Often, these solutions are scalable, so that financial institutions can meet the evolving needs of their customers that are growing and expanding into new markets.

What banking fees do online gambling businesses have to pay?

Typically, iGaming operators can expect to pay some or all of the following fees:

Transaction fees

These are fees charged for processing deposits, withdrawals, and any other financial transactions. Sometimes fintech banks offer competitive transaction fees that are lower than traditional banks.

Account maintenance fees

Many traditional banks charge either monthly or annual fees for maintaining business accounts. These might only be applied if a certain number of transactions take place each month (for example, more than 50). In some cases, fintech banks can offer more competitive account maintenance fees, or even waive them entirely.

Currency conversion fees

Any online gaming companies operating in multiple currencies should be wary of banking fees associated with currency conversions and international transactions.

Integration, onboarding and setup fees

Some banks may charge fees for integrating their services with a business customers’ existing systems or for setting up a specialised account structure that supports fund segregation.

Card payment fees in iGaming

Card payments, including credit and debit cards, are among the most widely used payment methods in the online gambling industry. However, accepting card payments comes with associated fees that can significantly impact an iGaming operator's bottom line.

Typical card payment fee structures

The primary fee associated with card payments is the interchange rate, which is determined by the card networks (for example, Visa or Mastercard). Interchange rates typically range from 1% to 3% of the transaction amount, with an additional fixed fee per transaction.

These rates can vary based on factors such as the card type (credit or debit), the merchant category code (MCC), and the card-present or card-not-present nature of the transaction. In addition to these interchange rates, iGaming operators may also incur separate fees from their payment processors or acquiring banks, including:

  • Discount rate: A percentage of the transaction amount charged by the processor or acquirer, typically ranging from 0.5% to 2%.
  • Authorization fees: Flat fees charged for each transaction authorization, often ranging from €0.05 to €0.25 per transaction.
  • Monthly fees: Some processors or acquirers may charge monthly account maintenance fees or minimum monthly fees, which can range from a few to hundreds of Pounds or Euros, depending on the provider and the volume of transactions.

While card payment fees may seem relatively small on a per-transaction basis, they can accumulate significantly over time, especially for high-volume iGaming operators. For example, if an operator processes €1 million in card transactions per month with an average interchange rate of 2% and a discount rate of 1%, the total fees could amount to €30,000 per month or €360,000 per year.

This substantial cost can eat into an iGaming operator's profit margins, so companies should always be careful when selecting service providers and comparing card payment fees.

How online gambling businesses can minimise card payment fees

If iGaming businesses are struggling to find suitable or competitive rates on card payment fees, there are a few strategies that can help find the right banking partner.

  • Negotiate on your transaction volumes. If you have very high transaction volumes, you could try speaking to payment processors or acquirers to see if you can get a better rate.
  • Add more payment options. By diversifying your payment options so that you include credit and debit card payments, bank transfers and even e-wallets, you may find a payment option that is both popular with your customers and has different fee structures or lower transaction fees.
  • Pass on small charges or fees to your customers. This is jurisdiction dependent, and will also need to take into account how customers may feel about paying additional fees (even if they are very small).
  • Optimise your payment flows. Check to see if you can minimise failed transactions (which can sometimes incur additional fees) and streamline existing payment processes to decrease your overall transaction costs.
  • Use payment data and analytics to identify cost-saving opportunities. You can get a much clearer picture of which customer groups use which payment methods, and can also target specific customer segments using lower-cost payment options.

Foreign exchange fees in iGaming

Foreign exchange (FX) fees are charges that companies must pay when converting one currency into another. FX fees are very common in the iGaming industry, as many businesses are global in nature and regularly need to make cross-border transactions.

For iGaming businesses, FX fees are typically charged by payment processors, banks, or other financial institutions when transactions take place between different currencies. These fees cover the costs associated with currency conversion. In most cases, FX fees are calculated as a percentage of the transaction amount.

How do FX fees apply to iGaming transactions?

As an example, if a UK-based operator processes a withdrawal request from a player in the United States, then the operator may need to convert the payout amount from British pounds (GBP) to US dollars (USD). The payment processor or bank handling this transaction would charge an FX fee to facilitate the currency conversion.

For iGaming operators based in European countries like the UK or Malta, which have a strong presence in the industry, managing FX fees is crucial. These companies may have players and partners from different regions around the world. Consequently, to ensure a seamless experience, these operators are required to undertake frequent currency conversions, which can potentially expose them to much higher FX fees.

How do FX fees impact payouts to international players and partners?

As many businesses have audiences around the world, there can be multiple currency conversions taking place during a standard business period. FX fees can therefore become a significant operational cost for many businesses. Additionally, FX fees can directly impact the payouts received by international players and partners of iGaming companies.

When an operator processes a withdrawal or payment in a different currency, the FX fees charged by the payment processor or bank may reduce the net amount received by the recipient.

As an example, if a player in the United States tries to withdraw a payout of €10,000 from a Malta-based operator, then they would expect to receive the USD equivalent. So, assuming the exchange rate placed that value at $11,000, the player might be surprised to see that a 2% FX fee has been applied, reducing their payout to $10,800.

The same applies to any transactions taking place between operators and their international partners and affiliates. Consequently, they may need to factor in how FX fees could reduce the net amount that will be received.

Cash withdrawal fees abroad

Perhaps one of the most common fees that many businesses, and individuals, encounter, is the cash withdrawal fees that are applied when using a card abroad. For iGaming operators, there are a few scenarios where cash withdrawals are required, and without proper planning, these can place unexpected additional costs on companies.

Employees travelling for business meetings, conferences and on-site visits may need to pay in cash for transportation, meals, and expenses. Some suppliers and vendors prefer cash payments, and so visiting company representatives will often need to withdraw cash to facilitate some transactions. Of course, with any travel, emergencies and accidents can never be fully avoided, and so in the event of lost or stolen cards, employees may find themselves forced to withdraw cash whilst abroad.

5 ways iGaming companies can avoid cash withdrawal fees when abroad

While cash withdrawals may be unavoidable in certain situations, there are strategies iGaming companies can employ to minimise the associated fees, particularly when operating in regions in Europe, like Malta or the UK.

  1. Prioritise digital payment solutions. Whenever possible, iGaming companies should notify employees of withdrawal fee costs and encourage the use of digital payment solutions. By using wire transfers, online banking, or mobile payment apps, these methods can significantly reduce the need for cash withdrawals and the associated fees.
  2. Use local banking options. If cash withdrawals cannot be avoided, operators may need to open local bank accounts in the countries where they operate, frequently visit, or have a significant presence. This can provide access to local ATM networks and potentially lower withdrawal fees.
  3. Negotiate with banks. Operators with a substantial volume of international transactions should always try to negotiate more favourable rates and fee waivers. Banks may be willing to offer better terms for high-volume (and high-value) clients.
  4. Use corporate credit cards. Operators may be able to secure great rates on corporate credit cards, including fee-free or reduced-fee cash withdrawals abroad. Operators help minimise withdrawal fees by issuing these cards to employees who frequently travel internationally and expect to make cash withdrawals.
  5. Look for fintech solutions. An increasing number of fintech companies and digital payment providers offer solutions for international and cross-border businesses. For operators facing high fees from cross-border payments and currency conversions, they may find fintechs offer lower fees compared to traditional banking channels.

Other banking fees that online gaming companies should know about

While card payment fees, withdrawal fees and foreign exchange fees are significant expenses for online gambling companies, there are several other fees that could also apply. Operators should be aware of all fees and account for them in their budgeting and financial planning. Without proper management, these additional fees could quickly add up and impact your bottom line.

  1. Maintenance fees. Many banks will charge operators for simply having an ongoing account. These monthly or annual fees can vary in amount and may come with additional benefits or services for operators.
  2. Inactivity fees. If your account has been inactive for a certain period, you may find your bank imposes an inactivity fee.
  3. Transaction fees. Different transactional types may trigger different fees, so for some banks, wire transfers may be more costly than ACH payments. Other banks may offer higher fees on cash deposits and withdrawals.
  4. Overdraft fees. If an account is overdrawn, banks typically charge substantial overdraft fees, which can quickly accumulate if not carefully monitored.
  5. Account closure fees. Some banks may require you to keep your account open for a certain period, and will charge fees for closing business accounts if this happens within a certain time frame.
  6. Wire transfer fees. Sending and receiving wire transfers domestically and internationally can often incur fees that are charged from the sending and receiving banks.
  7. Cash handling fees. If large amounts of cash need to be deposited or withdrawn, some banks may charge fees to cover the cost of additional handling and security measures.
  8. Card replacement fees. Replacing lost, stolen, or damaged debit and credit cards may incur a charge. Most banks will issue new cards to replace expired ones, however card issuing costs do vary between providers.
  9. Paper statement fees. Online statements are nearly always available free of charge, however banks apply fees when providing paper statements or other types of physical documentation.
  10. Minimum balance fees. Some accounts have reduced or no maintenance fees on the agreement that a minimum account balance is maintained. Should the amount in the account drop below the agreed threshold, additional fees may be applied.

iGaming companies must carefully consider and account for all potential fees when budgeting and forecasting their financial operations. Overlooking or underestimating fees could cause inaccurate financial projections and generate unexpected expenses, all of which can negatively impact profitability and cash flow.

Fee comparison tables

Navigating the intricate world of iGaming banking fees can be a daunting task for operators. With a myriad of options available, it's crucial to understand the various fee structures and their potential impact on your business.

Remember, low fees can seem almost negligible on a per-transaction basis, however they can accumulate significantly either over time or during periods where operators experience high transaction volumes.

For iGaming operators who regularly experience high-volumes of transactions, finding low-fee banking solutions is especially important. As an example, an operator processing €1 million in card transactions each month with an interchange rate of 2% and a discount rate of 1%, would end up paying €30,000 per month in fees, equivalent to €360,000 per year.

This section aims to provide a comprehensive comparison of the fees associated with different banking solutions, enabling you to make an informed decision that aligns with your specific needs and requirements.

It's important to note that fees can vary significantly depending on factors such as transaction volumes, geographic location, and the banking institution itself.

Please keep in mind that fees are subject to change, and the information provided here is for illustrative purposes only. We recommend verifying the latest fee structures directly with the respective banks or financial institutions.

Different iGaming operators will have unique requirements, and the optimal banking solution will depend on factors such as the target markets, payment methods offered, and overall business strategy. By carefully evaluating the fee structures presented in this section, you can identify the solutions that best fit your operational needs and budget constraints, ultimately optimising your profitability and ensuring a seamless experience for your players.

Era by Xace

An account designed for regulated gaming firms in Europe and North America. Era has no onboarding or monthly fees, and 0% fees on all transactions, both local and cross-border. Learn more about fee-free banking for regulated gaming companies.

ERA BY XACE

Business Lite by Monzo

Monzo’s Business Lite account is for UK-registered sole traders and limited company directors. It has no account maintenance fees, and free cash withdrawals abroad of up to £200 every 30 days. Currently, Monzo doesn’t support high-risk businesses, including gambling and betting.

MONZO

Wise

UK businesses can open an account with Wise for £45. The account includes a free card, no foreign exchange fees, and allows over 40 currencies to be held in the account, at no extra charge. Unfortunately, Wise doesn’t support businesses or transactions involving any form of gambling.

WISE

Starling Bank

A business account with Starling comes with no maintenance fees, no card payment fees, and free cash withdrawals abroad up to 6 times per day, with a daily limit of £300. Starling doesn’t support businesses that regularly make significant cash deposits or gambling and betting businesses.

Starling Bank

Revolut

Revolut offers various business accounts, and the Basic account has no monthly fees, and can hold and exchange over 25 currencies. Card payments incur no fees, and cash withdrawals abroad incur fees of up to 2%. Revolut offers account holders the possibility of setting up local accounts in local currencies, but unfortunately Revolut doesn’t support gambling businesses.

Revolut

N26 Business Smart by N26

Open to European businesses, the N26 Business Smart account has  maintenance fees starting from £4.90 per month, and offers fee-free card payments and foreign exchange services. N26 accounts are designed for freelancers and the self-employed, and are currently not available for partnerships and companies.

N26 Business Smart by N26

bunq

bunq offers several different plans for businesses in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, Ireland. bunq’s most basic account permits card payments free of charge, and allows several free ATM withdrawals abroad each month. bunq only caters to small and medium-sized businesses, and it is unlikely they will offer services to gambling companies with complex company structures.

bunq

Nubank

Nubank is the largest digital financial services platform. Based in Brazil, Nubank offers business credit cards that are free of charge and foreign exchange fees at mid-market Interbank rates. Nubank does not support gambling businesses.

Nubank

KakaoBank

Korean bank, KakaoBank offers free debit card transactions with cashback perks. Foreign exchange fees cost £3.75 per transfer. KakoaBank does not support gambling businesses.

KakaoBank

GXS

GXS, based in Singapore, provides digital banking services, with no card payments fees or foreign exchange fees. GXS provides services to entrepreneurs and consumers, but not to gambling businesses.

GXS

Varo Bank

Varo is a digital banking service, based in the USA. A Varo account offers card payments, foreign exchange services and cash withdrawals abroad free of charge. Unfortunately, it does not support gambling businesses.

Varo Bank

Finding the right banking partner for your iGaming business

For online gambling businesses, figuring out the fees that come with banking is critical for accurately predicting banking costs. All potential fees should be considered when choosing a banking partner, regardless of whether you use a traditional banking institution or a fintech banking provider. Fintech banks are becoming an increasingly important part of players’ experience, as they can help provide everything from seamless payment processing to enhanced payment experiences. Consequently, iGaming operators may find that fintechs offer competitive fees to try to attract new customers.

By understanding the typical roles, benefits, and associated fees of these specialised financial institutions, iGaming operators can look for ways to optimise their banking solutions and enhance their competitiveness and profitability in what is an increasingly competitive and rapidly evolving industry.

Stay updated with the latest iGaming trends by subscribing and following Xace on Linkedin

The information provided in this article was accurate at the time of publishing. This information is not to be used for trading, investment, legal, financial or any other form of business advice.

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