It’s fair to say that betting has changed a little bit since the days when you had to queue up at the bookies with your receipt to collect your winnings. These days around 50 per cent of William Hill’s business is online and a growing proportion of online betting (already over 50 per cent) is via your smartphone.
However, one of the downsides of online betting has been that you haven’t been able to collect your online winnings right away. Instead you’ve had to wait three to five days before getting your hands on the money from your bank which really sucks if you want to show off to your mates what a winner you really are (obviously you will probably choose to keep quiet the times you lose, but we don’t want to talk about that do we?)
As Jamie Hart, William Hill’s Director of Innovation and Customer Experience, told Tech Digest at the exclusive press preview of the product at the England v Switzerland match at Wembley on Tuesday: “One of biggest problems with internet betting has been that when you win you don’t feel like a winner because you don’t have the cash to celebrate.”
But all that’s set to change with William Hill announcing a Priority Access Card, the first in the industry. Usefully this will provide William Hill account holders with unrestricted and immediate access to their winnings.
The Priority Access Card works by linking customers directly to their William Hill online betting account, rather than going through the bank. However, because William Hill has done a deal with MasterCard you can take out your winnings instantly at any shop, restaurant or other establishment with chip-and-pin payment or by visiting a cash machine (it can also be used for contactless payments up to £30).
What’s more, for those who don’t want to show off the fact they have a William Hill MasterCard when it comes to making payments, the branding on the card is very subtle indeed with no mention of William Hill – just a swirling James Bond style pattern.
Adds Jamie Hart: “The William Hill Priority Access Card changes the entire betting experience by finally lifting the restrictions on how quickly customers enjoy their winnings, whether in social environments or to pay for their shopping. We have seen an extremely positive reaction to the card so far in pilot and are excited about the possibilities created by wider customer adoption.”
According to William Hill, The Priority Access Card received 100 per cent positive feedback during its recent trial period involving over 350 of William Hill’s VIP customers, with cashpoint withdrawals proving to be a hugely popular benefit. William Hill is now opening the card up to all of its eligible customers.
But that’s not all. Future developments of the Priority Access Card Service may see brand partnerships that will enable William Hill to promote discounted offers to customers with significant winnings via their mobile phone. So, for example, you could be offered a bespoke holiday at cost price or – thanks to the geolocation services on your smartphone – a VIP discount at a nearby bar or restaurant.
William Hill Labs is also working on new tech developments including full integration with Apple’s payment platform, ApplePay, and a range of personalised services. Watch this space for more announcements due at a launch on the 29th September.