November 15, 2021 Online, Interview

The Card of The Future

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Imagine collecting data, loyalty points, eating and betting with the same card. Gaming America sat down with CEO Craig Libson and president Scott Walker who run Flexia Payments, the company that is bringing the world that very card.

What would you say is your company mandate?

Scott Walker: Our mandate is to penetrate our product team in the United States and Canada. That’s where our focus is. That’s the complete focus of Flexia Payments. We’re experienced. We’ve done this before. We’ve gone into different jurisdictions. Now we’re just penetrating this North American market. Complete cashless solution. We’re the only ones with a  multi-account MasterCard solution. What we do is we’re basically a bridge between the gaming system and a banking system.

 

What is distinct about your technology?

Craig Libson: What we’ve done is unique. We’ve spent five years in Mexico where it’s totally cashless by law, they use just a closed-loop cashless gaming card. What we did is develop a multi-account MasterCard that replaces a traditional cashless gaming card and loyalty card. So this one piece of plastic serves three functions: It’s a MasterCard debit card that you can spend in the store, it’s also a gaming account for your gaming wallet inside slot machines, and it’s your loyalty card. It’s issued at the cashier. What happens is a customer who may have a loyalty card at the casino will be upgrading to this. Swipe the loyalty card and it’ll say your name, address and mobile number. Maybe it’ll ask for your social security. They swipe that in CMS. They hit the button. The data comes to us. We activate the MasterCard, then they throw this out. This is their new loyalty card, MasterCard and gaming account. 

 

What are the benefits of using this new type of card?

What happens is, they’ll get a link to download our app. The card will be in the app. This card now has a master debit account on the MasterCard Network. So, you’ll see this card has $960 on the MasterCard account and it’s $39.31 on it. Our app allows the customer to move money in and out. So, if I’m in the street and I want to buy dinner, I can spend $960. From the casino, if I want to stick this in the slot machine right now, I can only play with $39.91, but if I want to play with more, I can move the money up and down. Now I want to add another $10 here, but I put in the amount and we tell this system to increase the balance so that, in real time, I can move this $900 into my gaming account and stick it into the slot that I want to play. If I want to leave and go out to dinner, I can move it back into my MasterCard. Same piece of plastic. 

The other thing is when I spend money in the MasterCard network, I go out and buy dinner for $100, we can tie into the rewards program in the casino like an airlines card. I use my Delta SkyMiles because I’m on a plane. The customers we’re going after are the locals casinos’ repeat customers. Our customers want to use this to buy their dinner because they get loyalty points in the casino. The casinos like it because the customer has to come back to the casino to get that free play, free meal, free drink or free parking. It’s a very coordinated marketing activity with the casinos. 

So, it’s cashless. There are promotions. We give the casino a portal where they can send a promotion to the customers, not only based on what happens inside the casino but on their demographics and by what they spend. A lot of our local casinos are in shopping malls or big retailors, so if they go to a sports bar and they want to do a promotion for that sports bar, we can say all right, we’ll give you the data on all your customers who spend more than X amount of money at a bar in the last 60 days, or men who are between 20 and 40. And you can target a promotion at the casinos to fit those demographics. 

As you can see, we’re covering a lot of bases. It’s about cashless gaming. It’s about the whole benefits and security wrap, but it’s really helping the casino market to its customers better.

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