A peek inside the average American’s wallet uncovers four credit cards and at least one debit card. What’s missing, however, is cash. Fewer Americans than ever carry cash, preferring instead to pay for everyday purchases with a debit card. This shift in payment preferences presents a tremendous opportunity for lotteries.
The Pennsylvania Lottery—one of the world’s Top 15 lotteries in total per capita sales and No. 4 in instant game per capita sales—is leading the charge. Together with Scientific Games, they have expanded a pilot program to accept debit card payments and offer their players a new way to responsibly purchase their favorite lottery games.
“By expanding payment options to include debit cards, the Lottery hopes to responsibly grow its player base to provide access to new players who may not carry cash, and offer more convenience to its existing players,” said Tim Tobin, General Manager, Lottery Systems Pennsylvania for Scientific Games.
And based on the numbers, this strategy is right on. A 2016 survey of payment preferences shows that 35% of consumers prefer to pay for all their purchases with a debit card, up five percent from 2015. And 40% prefer to use a credit card, down 6% year-over-year. Only 10% of Americans exclusively use cash, while 12% never use cash.
Working with Scientific Games, the Pennsylvania Lottery installed more than 2,000 secure PIN Pad devices at selected retail locations throughout the state at both clerk-operated and self-service lottery terminals. These devices process debit card payments and are fully-compliant with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). Additionally, they offer convenient Apple Pay and Google Pay functionality via tap or Near Field Communications (NFC) technology. This expanded debit card trial program builds upon a smaller pilot of 200 retail locations the Pennsylvania Lottery launched in February 2016, which also included credit card payments.
“This offers our players a safe and convenient way to pay for their games with a debit card, and removes the barrier of having cash on hand,” explained Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko. “We’re thrilled with the early results, and are now processing more than 10,000 transactions totaling over $200,000 per week, with controlled distribution and very limited marketing.”
Scientific Games has worked with the payment card industry to create a specific merchant code for lottery purchases via debit and credit cards, and to develop an anonymized token that helps the company and its customers understand player behavior. This helps gather business intelligence about player preferences such as what games are purchased together, as well as when and where games are purchased.
“We’re eager to learn from the data and insights from this trial to grow sales, and continue to invest in our mission to raise money and benefit older Pennsylvanians,” shared Svitko.