November 26, 2020

Betting Apps: Security, Design, Common Mistakes

Stanislav Novokhatko

Place Your Bets

Betting is an activity that’s existed almost as long as sports have. It’s a companion to any competition, be it soccer, horse riding, or an extreme crocheting tournament. However, instead of going to seedy parlors to put money down on your team, most people have opted to go online in the last decade. With the advent of betting sites and, nowadays, betting apps, the industry is in full bloom and money is pouring in. However, with that kind of market, there’s still some room for newcomers, as long as you can make your products stand out. Today we’ll talk about the prospects of online betting apps development, the features you must have, the problems you’ll face, and the ways to overcome them.

Dime a Dozen

We’re not going to sugarcoat it: the market is quite saturated right now with top apps like William Hill, Bet 365, and Paddy Power holding most of the userbase. However, same as in any industry, there’s room for more and your success will be determined by what you can offer to the users. Instead of copying the sharks, consider making an app that stands out with design, features, and ideas. This means prioritizing the areas that aren’t done all that well in others and looking for the long-term prospects. It’s not exactly an easy path but with a skilled team you could certainly make a top-notch app that’d capture some of the market and hold its ground against the big guns.

Building a Treasure Trove

There are a few things that you can’t do without when making sports betting apps. We’ll go through the list step by step and try to underline the key ones.

First up is the login panel.The process has to be secure and you should warn the user right away about the fact that betting is prohibited in some areas and completely against the law for minors. Placate their worries about security by writing about the safety of their data if needed. Since they’ll be placing their personal info in your hands, it’s up to you to rise to the occasion and provide a leak-free experience.

Second is the sports/player menu.Here the user should be able to freely and quickly choose which sport or player they want to bet on. It shouldn’t feel cluttered or tough to navigate and a search feature is pretty much mission critical. Consider turning the sports choice menu into a list of icons since all popular sports can be summed up with a handy drawing, be it of a ball or the corresponding net or field.

Third, you need to make sure the users have a guide to lean on, especially newbies. Try to set up a stream of odds and tips from several sources so that the users have a bit of choice, most will quickly find one they prefer.

Fourth, there must be a way for your users to check on the results of their match of choice in real time. Set up a stream (not a visual one, since that requires the purchase of expensive rights) and enable the option for real-time notifications in case of a missed goal or the end of the game. This will boost user engagement and improve their experience, which is important if you want people coming back to the program.

Fifth, make your users look to the future with a schedule of games and, perhaps, a quick news section. Having the next match laid out in front of them often prompts users to immediately place another bet, which is, obviously, great for business.

Sixth, and this one’s crucial, make the payments as quick as possible.You should be providing the rewards nearly instantly as this creates a reflexive response in users where they associate using the program with winning money. It’s especially good if you notify them via the program’s push notifications. Similar to that is the old tactic of providing a sign-up bonus. Be it some “free money” or a chance to double their winnings on the first two or three bets, it’s a nice incentive to choose your service.

Seventh, don’t make your app online only. Some users might want to check their previous bets or track the match stats even without internet access.

Eighth, remember to set the betting models. Give users the freedom to set up long-term betting formats, where their money is automatically placed with each new game in the tournament. Conversely, allow users to do one-and-done bets if they prefer to gamble sporadically.

“It is of utmost importance that you have several layers of security to protect this data.”

Lock on the Gates

Since a betting app has to involve payments and personal info, it is of utmost importance that you have several layers of security to protect this data. However, if you look at the experience of some other apps in the industry, their road to success is still muddled by leaks. This should be unacceptable as a betting app with a good userbase will have access to millions of bank accounts and documents. A leak on such scale could spell a financial disaster both for the users and the company as lawsuits will come rolling in. So putting money down front on good security is a smarter move.

We’d suggest betting on the popular new technology of blockchain.It’s being used for security reasons in all industries and betting apps shouldn’t be an exception. With immutable records that store any and all interactions, it will be easier to trace leaks and prevent them. And if you opt for private blockchain, gaining unauthorized access to the data will be even harder. Admittedly, the technology might still have some gaps that aren’t yet explored but, at this point, it’s certainly one of the safer choices, albeit not the cheapest one. Just make sure that, whichever security measures you choose to implement, you update the security tools regularly and keep track of any innovations that might make your platform safer.

Similarly, make sure you’re looking at your own security as well. And we’re not only talking about cheaters, as it’s also key to make sure you’re protected against regulations. GDPR is in full swing now so you have to adjust for its effects as well as make sure you’re not servicing users from countries where gambling is a criminal offense. And, of course, restrict access to the underage population or face a whole lot of trouble later on.

Betting on the Wrong Horse

First and foremost, we encourage you to keep your scope modest. Don’t try to cover all sports events and take the betting apps market by storm. Instead, focus on a single type of sport, create a refined product, and do some wide promotion. Consider capturing the underrepresented markets, if you want a bit of an easier way in. For example, some US states have only recently legalized sports betting with federal legislation changing as recently as 2018.

Second, don’t treat security and policy warnings as mundane.The Play Market had banned gambling apps altogether until 2017. It does allow them in select countries now but the precedent of bans has already been set. It’s concerning and if you don’t want the same thing to happen worldwide, it’s important to play by the rules.

Third, don’t think that UI/UX is a secondary concern. Many of your users will be people that don’t know much about tech and use smartphones specifically for betting apps. You want the navigation to be intuitive and the wording precise and easy to understand. Plus, the design should be clear without any unnecessary frills. Make it fun but don’t overload the app with things like animations and bonus content. Few long-term users will care about this, focusing instead on how smoothly the app runs and how easy it is to use.

“Make it fun but don’t overload the app.”

Cashing In

So even though the betting apps market is pretty cutthroat with plenty of sharks ready to gobble up the small fish, the incredible profits and a chance to ride the wave of hype are worth it. As long as you pay attention to the security of your app and don’t fall into the same traps that others have faced before you, there’s a high chance that you can take up your niche and, with luck, make it out on top. All you need is a dedicated team of experts, which Incode Group can help you with, a vision of what you want in an app, which we’ll gladly help refine, and a willingness to innovate. So place your bets and get some expert help from Incode Group’s team to start your success story!

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