A record 67.8 million people are expected to place bets on this year’s Super Bowl, the American Gaming Association said Tuesday.
For those who make the right plays, nearly 80% would choose to be paid instantly, an October survey by PYMNTS found. But for half of all betters, instant payouts aren’t offered.
Aeropay – the Chicago-based payment solutions provider behind PrizePicks, the fastest growing sports operator in America and the continent’s largest independent skill-based fantasy sports operator – is partnering with two banks to fix that.
“We like to do this to make sure that we're working with financial institutions that have a lot of knowledge and expertise in the vertical that we're operating in for a variety of reasons, [including] compliance, business awareness [and] speed,” Muller said.
UBank and Cross River serve similar purposes for Aeropay, with some key differences. UBank lends Aeropay its same-day Automated Clearing House, deposit and withdrawal capabilities, while Cross River lends its connection to the Real Time Payments network and FedNow.
“What's cool with Cross River is they've invested so heavily in supporting fintech that they built their own infrastructure to enable connectivity to these networks, which allows us, as a fintech, [to connect into them without being] required to build into those networks directly,” Muller said.
Muller launched Aeropay in 2018, initially facilitating pay-by-bank transactions for small- to medium-size retailers and restaurants in the Chicago area. In 2020, on the heels of adult-use cannabis legalization in Illinois, he saw a vertical “in desperate need of payment solutions that the incumbent, traditional rails didn’t solve.”
Cannabis and gaming are similar in that regulations vary state by state, so Aeropay entered both verticals in a similar fashion: by partnering with financial institutions already familiar with the rules and regulations under which to play.
“Once we found FI partners that we could work with, we started by providing payment services to [PrizePicks] and they've been great partners. We’re super excited about what we're doing with them, and now we're going to make a bigger push into that market this year,” Muller said.
Rather than partnering with a third party to connect to user bank accounts, Aeropay built its own bank connection tool, dubbed Aerosync. Muller said Aerosync can connect to over 9,000 banks, and that if a user’s bank isn’t on the platform, Aerosync is able to use routing and account information to manually enter it into the system for instant verification.
“It presents the capability of 100% bank connection, which is very rare,” Muller said. “The other thing that we do that other bank aggregators don't is we'll actually have end user support to walk folks through … step by step, which is something that the gaming operators are responding to because it's just one less thing they have to worry about in their support queue and flow.”
“That's the type of stuff that we think about heading into the Big Game,” Muller said.
Aeropay inked its partnership with PrizePicks in August, ahead of the current NFL season. Muller said they’ve seen some “really large numbers come through ... millions of dollars in volume per day.”
“What's interesting is we've had spikes like this before, so we're not new to it. You think about the cannabis holiday of 4/20, that's a day we see 10 to 25 times traditional usage. We’re assuming that we're going to see that similar proportional spike in gaming,” he said.