With the gaming industry experience a huge increase in popularity, gamers are spending significant amounts of money, providing paytech companies with an opportunity to cash in on these paying players.
Mark LeVake, Senior Solution Consultant at ACI Worldwide, a global software company that provides mission-critical real-time payment solutions to corporations.
Here Mark discusses gaming payments and the potential that comes from turning players into payers.
The gaming industry is rapidly growing – experts suggest that by 2025, the global gaming market is set to reach $256.97 billion. And gamers are in no rush to slow down on their spending.
It’s no surprise that the industry has boomed during the pandemic. With lockdown forcing people to spend more time at home than ever before, consumers have chosen to move to the virtual world to try to alleviate boredom and entertain themselves. And gaming itself has become a primary way to socially interact.
But with a rise in online players, payment capabilities have become strained. And consumers are desperately looking for secure and easy ways to instantly transact online so they can continue to play as they please. This is a huge opportunity for game makers to increase their revenue and enhance their customer base.
Understanding gamers’ motivations to pay
Only by understanding what motivates a gamers’ spending can game makers ensure they’ve got the best payment solutions to match today’s customers’ needs.
According to our latest research exploring the gaming payments experience, over a third (39%) of UK gamers say the enjoyment of a game is one of their main motivators for spending money. Another large motivator is the idea of gamers giving themselves a gift, which can be in the form of prepaid cards, gift cards or in-game content. But when listing the biggest payments experience failures, gamers were most frustrated by a slow payments process (32%), followed by payments fraud (27%) and a confusing payments process (24%). Luckily, all of these issues can be solved through the right payments and fraud prevention solutions.
The gaming community is close-knit and very savvy. If game makers are unable to provide a smooth and secure transaction process within the game, gamers will be quick to share this via forums and update the rest of their gaming community on errors to look out for. This can be detrimental in an industry that relies on customer satisfaction. Once word gets out of inefficient payments, trust will be lost, and the number of players will start to decline. It is therefore vital game makers have an easy to use, secure solution embedded within the game.
It’s also important to consider different geographies. Gaming is global, but payment options should be tailored to each country’s preferences. For instance, players in China will want to be able to pay using AliPay or WeChat Pay, but in the UK and US, this wouldn’t be of much use as WeChat isn’t widely adopted. Gamers in the West would prefer the option to use ApplePay and Google Pay. Game makers will need to offer their customers the instant payments options they want to use within the game, to both improve their overall experience and make the most of the market opportunity.
The rise of mobile players
One of the biggest trends we have seen in the past year is the rise in mobile gamers. Mobile has already surpassed more traditional gaming platforms in popularity, proving the power of this market. In fact, according to GameAnalytics, in 2020, the number of mobile gamers grew from 1.2 billion people to 1.75 billion per month. With far more ‘one-click’ in-game purchasing, or new games via app stores, gamers find it easier to access the services they need to drive forward with their playing.
Game makers must focus on the mobile experience to capture the opportunities found within this rising platform. This means ensuring they work with payment providers that can provide access to secure, real-time payment options and allow for a frictionless gamer experience, to ultimately increase the chance of completing more customer purchases within mobile games.
Our research found that trust is the main reason gamers select a certain payments method. Like most eCommerce platforms, trust is essential in driving conversion. So, game makers must offer payment methods gamers believe will keep them safe from fraudsters if they’re to turn more players into payers.
Driving forward with the industry
It’s never been more important for game makers to understand the in-game payments experience. By creating a solution that not only provides customers with instant access to funds but integrates multiple payment options to suit everyone’s needs, game makers will be able to turn their players into payers.