UK roundup: BT Pension Scheme, Accenture, HM Treasury

first_imgThe £40bn (€56.5bn) BT Pension Scheme (BTPS) has re-appointed Accenture to provide its administration system for its 300,000 members, extending the current arrangement for another eight years.Accenture has been the scheme’s provider since 2000, when the BT Group and Accenture launched a joint venture, with the outsourcing firm providing pensions administration alongside HR services such a payroll, training and recruitment.The scheme began reviewing the arrangement in 2013 and has appointed Accenture for an additional eight years.Accenture does not market itself as a third-party administrator to other UK pension schemes. It provided the service to BTPS as part of the wider deal with BT.However, it said it would continue building its capability to provide additional features to BTPS’s members, and grow its business in the UK.Chairman of the scheme, Paul Spencer, said the company was appointed on new terms after a full review of the market.“This new contract provides for further investment in the administration function to continue to enhance the service provided to members,” he said.In other news, the UK government has begun consulting with the pensions industry on whether to cap or ban charges placed on defined contribution (DC) pension scheme members when they transfer out a scheme.Since April, when HM Treasury brought in new freedoms to DC savers to access their savings as cash or income drawdown, the government grew concerned providers might restrict access by adding charges.HM Treasury is also assessing whether to cap fees by assessing what may be “excessive”, and whether charges deter members from accessing savings.The consultation runs for 12 weeks.Malcolm McLean, senior consultant at Barnett Waddingham, criticised the government consultation for being non-specific on what charges and controls it wanted to identify or implement.“[It is] more a case of kicking the ball down the road, pending further evidence, than anything else,” he said.last_img read more

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Trustly’s Nicholas Tucker: Fast payments, fast answers and fast Pay N Play pick up

first_img Internet Vikings appoints ‘marketing pro’ Stefan Backlund as corporate advisor March 20, 2020 Related Articles StumbleUpon Share SBC Magazine Issue 8: International expansion and picking up the sporting slack April 7, 2020 Share Submit SBC Digital Summit: ‘Cashless’ environments to take centre stage when retail returns – Samuel Barrett April 30, 2020 Fresh from completing a research study into ‘The Power of Fast Payments’ that yielded such an eye-catching set of takeaways for the industry, we went back to Trustly to delve deeper into the data that really matters for gambling operators.We’ve taken an educated guess that those interested in fast payments may also be here looking for fast answers. So, for the quick and easy responses from Head of Sales Nicholas Tucker, here goes: Has the value of payments been overlooked by the industry? No. Has the ‘race to the bottom’ approach to bonusing opened the door for payment innovation? Definitely. Are operators unjustifiably concerned about losing revenues from instant withdrawals? Yes.Now, these sharp responses could have been elicited by our line of questioning, or maybe we were just hitting the right notes for Trustly heading into next week’s Betting on Sports.In any case, Tucker proceeded to deliver some must-read insight into the influence of Pay N Play and where the company’s flagship product is seeing the biggest uptake, as well as some of the more surprising findings from last month’s fast payments research.SBC: Do you think the value of payments has been overlooked by the gambling industry?Nicholas Tucker: No! Personally, I think that successful gaming operators have always viewed payments as a core pillar of the success of their operations. The last thing you want is to lose the player at the first hurdle when they try to make a deposit or create a bad wagering experience by making it hard to access winnings. As a whole, we see much more expertise and innovation in payments within the gaming vertical compared to some others we work in. Essentially, for an operator to be successful, it needs to make payments as easy and frictionless as possible for the consumer. When you look at the cashier of a gaming operator vs an e-commerce or travel merchant, you will see far more payment options. I think this reflects the level of value and dedication placed on making payments possible for the player.SBC: Has the slowing of the ‘race to the bottom’ approach to player retention opened the door for payment-based innovations to take centre stage?NT: Definitely. We were seeing fierce competition between operators all trying to attract and retain players by offering huge bonuses (with hidden and confusing wagering requirements) but without much regard for what players wanted in terms of experience. Also, regulators are beginning to step in by simplifying or restricting the size and frequency of player bonuses, hampering this model of acquisition and retention. Through our Pay N Play product, we have helped operators switch the focus to player experience by offering a simplified registration and deposit process and improving the speed that winnings reach the player’s bank account. I think increasingly we will see payment, game and affiliate suppliers working closely with the operator to enhance the player experience rather than simply offering them a bonus to play more. The operators with the best player experience and strongest brand recognition (based on values players respect) will come out on top. This is what we have started to see in the Swedish market since regulation.SBC: Part of the research summary was that operators are worried about losing revenues when in fact instant withdrawals represent a revenue growth opportunity; was dispelling these concerns one of your biggest commercial challenges?NT: Yes! I have had conversations with some of the largest sports betting brands that indicate a very significant proportion of their revenue comes from cancelled withdrawals. It requires a big change in mindset to adopt a new approach, especially when some stakeholders within the business are worried about the impact on the balance sheet. However, once one operator in a market offers instant withdrawals (and it embraces the revenue growth opportunity), others soon follow as players begin to expect the functionality as a hygiene factor when considering which brands they play with.SBC: What were the surprise findings from the research?NT: Contrary to the belief of some of the more traditional operators, we have found that players increasingly prioritise the speed and access to winnings as a key driver of loyalty towards a brand. This is especially prevalent among VIP players. Out of the 1,700 players across nine countries that we interviewed during the research, we found that 94% want instant access to their winnings. Given the high cost of acquiring new players, it is more important than ever to keep active players happy by catering to their needs over the long term, such as instant withdrawals. Interestingly, 80% of players said they would gamble more if they were offered instant withdrawals by the operator. Another interesting find was that more people remember their bank login details versus their card details. Now that the ease of logging in and authenticating a bank payment is improving dramatically, supported by PSD2 and Open Banking, there is a genuine opportunity for direct bank payments to become the method of choice in markets where card schemes have previously dominated. This provides a platform for innovation around player registration, ID verification, source of funds and responsible gaming checks in markets like the UK.SBC: Finally, your Pay N Play product has quickly become an ‘industry standard’ in Sweden; in which other countries are you seeing the biggest pick-up?NT: We have seen fantastic growth in Finland and Estonia throughout 2019 and we are also seeing rapid adoption in Germany and recently the Netherlands. We expect the first brands to go live in Denmark by the end of the year and are hoping the product has a disruptive impact on this market, which has traditionally been card-focused.last_img read more

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Carmelo Anthony isn’t only player ‘up in the air’ on resumption of NBA season

first_imgBased on the tentative NBA calendar, teams could finish out their seasons in September or October and then have to prepare for the next campaign in December. It’s possible the league will see some players elect to sit out until the 2020-21 season kicks off.Anthony and his NBA brethren should be asking themselves and higher-ups hard questions about the restart. What are the specific COVID-19 testing procedures? What exactly are players allowed to do outside of practices and games? Will players still be paid if they choose to sit out the rest of the season? What about if they are replaced by G Leaguers or free agents? While the NBA appeared to send out the “basketball is back” message following the league’s board of governors approving the initial plan, the reality of this situation is far more complicated. Until key issues are addressed, don’t expect players to fully commit. Before he signed a one-year deal with the Trail Blazers in November, Carmelo Anthony was a free agent floating in the middle of the ocean waiting for a boat to pick him up. He understands how quickly the game of basketball can be taken away. And that’s why Anthony will be in shape and ready to play when (if?) the 2019-20 NBA season resumes. With the Blazers 3 1/2 games behind the Grizzlies for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, Anthony and his teammates must hit the ground running. MORE: Key dates, schedule & more to know about NBA season”As far as from a physical standpoint, yes, I’m ready,” Anthony said during an interview with TNT’s Ernie Johnson. “I’m in the gym, we’re in the gym, because we understand the minute that the horn goes off, we have to be ready as a team, Portland specifically.” At the same time, conditioning drills are far down the list of priorities for Anthony and plenty of other players. As the NBA continues to finalize the details of its 22-team format and basketball “bubble” in Orlando, Fla., some players are understandably hesitant to book their flights to Disney World.”As far as actually playing and going back down into Orlando, I’m still up in the air a little bit because I really don’t — we don’t have all the details,” Anthony said. “We don’t know a lot of information, so until we have that, it’s kind of hard to just commit to it 100 percent.”Anthony was willing to say publicly what many players are feeling privately. The NBA and National Basketball Players Association have discussed a plan that would allow players to stay home without consequences, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reported that 40 to 50 players expressed concerns about the resumption of play on recent conference calls.Per Wojnarowski:Executives and coaches around the NBA have had significant concerns about how players will adapt to an environment unlike any they’ve ever experienced and how those hurdles could impact the sustained competitive drive for teams. Many have worried, too, especially on teams that aren’t title contenders, whether some players will start to seek avenues to bypass the resumption altogether.The novel coronavirus hasn’t suddenly disappeared. Members of the NBA community remain active in speaking out and protesting against racial injustice and police brutality. Visitors will not be permitted to enter the environment until after the first round of the playoffs. There is a lot to consider here.For some players, especially those unlikely to make deep postseason runs, traveling to Orlando could be viewed as an unnecessary health risk. Social distancing guidelines would mean lost opportunities to fight for important causes and/or time spent away from close friends and family.last_img read more

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GAA U-21s REPORT: DONEGAL BEATEN BY TYRONE

first_imgUlster U21 Q/F Result. Tyrone 0-12, 0-6 Donegal.DONEGAL never got going against an impressive Tyrone side at Healy Park tonight – eventually losing by six points.Red Hands Darren McCurry was the star performer, hitting four points – three of them from play. It was the 28th minute before Donegal registered a score when Dermot Molloy fisted over the bar.Patrick McBrearty followed that with a stunning score from all over 40 yards, but at half-time the visitors trailed Tyrone by 0-07 to 0-02.The home side dominated for most of the game, with the visitors failing to turn a second half flourish into scores.McBrearty pointed again after the re-start and McGarvey scored from a 45 as Donegal threatened a comeback. But for all their possession in the second half, they couldn’t find the scores that mattered.In fact Tyrone didn’t score until the 18th minute of the second period – but they were already too far ahead for DonegalTyrone go on to play Down in the semi-final.TYRONE: D McAnenly; B Tierney, D McNally, HP McGeary; N Sludden, C Clarke (0-1), T McCann; R Donnelly (0-2), S Warnock (0-1); S Tierney (0-1), T Canavan (0-1), B McGarvey; D McCurry (0-5, 2f), C McAliskey (0-1), J McCullagh. Subs: P Mallon for McGarvey, S McGuigan for Tierney, C Grugan for McCullagh, H Óg Conlan for Warnock, C Daly for McAliskey.DONEGAL: P Boyle: K McFadden, C Cannon, P Carr; T McKinley, P Devine, C Gallagher; L Keeney, S Coyle; C Ellis, M O’Reilly, M McEniff; S McGarvey (0-2, 1 45), P McBrearty (0-3, 1f), D Molloy (0-1). Subs: D McGeever for Coyle, S Friel for Ellis, O McGinty for McEniff. Referee: M McErlane (Derry).GAA U-21s REPORT: DONEGAL BEATEN BY TYRONE was last modified: March 22nd, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:GAA U-21s REPORT: DONEGAL BEATEN BY TYRONElast_img read more

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