Press release: payment provider Yaspa is awarded Innovate UK grant for Safer Gambling platform

London, Tuesday 2nd April 2024 - Instant bank payment provider, Yaspa, has been awarded a government grant for its Safer Gambling payments and AI platform by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency. 

Yaspa’s innovative web-based B2B platform will combine payments and AI to help gambling operators identify vulnerable players in a frictionless manner. The platform, which will be the first of its kind, will help gambling businesses to identify and address some of the UK’s 300,000 estimated ‘problem gamblers’. Using open banking technology, Yaspa will provide operators with access to player transaction data at the point of deposit, giving a significantly broader and more accurate picture of a player’s pan-operator activity. The application of AI modelling will then detect the likelihood of them being a ‘problem gambler’. The inclusion of payment data will offer a frictionless way to conduct affordability checks that goes beyond current consumer protection initiatives, such as tiresome paper-based affordability checks and reliance on data from within a single operator’s domain. 

James Neville, CEO and co-founder of Yaspa, said: “With Innovate UK’s support, Yaspa will play a pivotal role in the future of compliance within the gambling sector. With the use of fast-growing technologies including AI and open banking, our Safer Gambling platform will reimagine how affordability checks are conducted and actioned to protect vulnerable players. Currently, operators view players at the single operator level and rely on disruptive checks that risk driving people to grey markets. Yaspa’s frictionless process combined with a pan-operator view will transform the experience for operators and players alike.”

The project responds to the UK government’s current plans to reform the country’s gambling landscape, which have set out expectations for operators to implement frictionless financial vulnerability checks for players, mooting open banking as a possible solution. The receipt of co-funding from Innovate UK will enable Yaspa to work with academics in Safer Gambling and AI to build a platform that uses world-class data analysis to ensure players can make quick and easy deposits with non-disruptive, real-time risk detection. Yaspa’s platform will meet operator needs and exceed regulatory requirements while addressing the far-reaching ramifications of problem gambling in the UK. 

***

About Yaspa

Yaspa is an award-winning fintech that connects identity and money to simplify - and accelerate - the way we pay. Founded in 2017 by a former Worldpay CTO, Yaspa uses open banking to provide instant bank payments that are faster, more secure and more cost-effective than cards, and to help regulated businesses seamlessly verify customers and their payments. The company operates across the UK and Europe, is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, and is backed by leading investors including Fin Capital, SGH Capital & Metavallon VC.

For more information visit: yaspa.com or contact Kate Marsden, CMO, at kate@yaspa.com.

About Innovate UK

Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas.

We connect businesses to partners, customers and investors who can help them turn ideas into commercially successful products and services and business growth. 

We fund business and research collaborations to accelerate innovation and drive business investment into R&D. Our support is available to businesses across all economic sectors, value chains and UK regions. 

Innovate UK is part of UK research and Innovation. For more information visit www.innovateuk.ukri.org 

What are instant payment networks and how do they work?