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Cashless Payments in the Gaming Industry

BAMBORA OPINION

29 May 2019

Victoria Galloway

6 Things to Know about Cashless Payments in the Gaming Industry

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Gaming monetisation presents a huge opportunity for businesses. And being able to seamlessly accept payments from gamers is where all your efforts bear fruit.

Australia has an established video game industry stretching all the way back to the 1980s. According to an Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) report, 98% of Australian families with children under the age of 18 have a gaming device. Not surprisingly, consumer spending on gaming reached an astonishing $3 billion in 2018.

And the industry is growing just as quickly in New Zealand, where revenue grew 43% in 2018, the New Zealand Game Developers Association reports.

This growth is in line with the global scenario, where the gaming industry notched a 10% yearly growth to reach $137 billion. Mobile gaming alone is expected to become a $100 billion industry by 2021.

Often, the purchase of a game is just the beginning of a longer monetisation journey. In-app payments and pay-and-play are ripe opportunities for recurring revenue along this journey. Here are all the essential things to know before you start accepting payments within your game:

An Overview of Cashless Payments in the Gaming Industry

As the gaming industry continues to evolve, so does the payments industry. So it’s important to continue offering new video game payment solutions so gamers can experience their favourite games without any interruptions.

Increasingly, cashless gaming is growing in popularity because of the positive user experience it creates. The term cashless payments can be misleading because it doesn’t necessarily mean you eliminate cash payments altogether.

Rather, this means that you offer a variety of payment options to customers. For instance, voucher-based systems, digital wallets, and enabling instant payment transfers to a customer’s account are all examples of cashless payments.

The gaming industry is highly regulated so it will take time for these changes to be fully integrated. The timeline is unclear but cashless payments could soon be the standard in the gaming industry.

6 Things to Consider When Integrating Cashless Payments

Providing cashless payments is the best way to create a better user experience but this does come with certain challenges. Slow payments, payment failure messages, and a confusing payment process are the most common pain points for gamers.

In fact, 38% of gamers have had a negative experience when paying online. And 44% believe this experience can be improved. That’s proof of just how important using the right payments solution is.

Here are six things you should consider before integrating cashless payments.

1. Processing a large volume of transactions

As a business in the gaming industry, large transaction volumes are, in all likelihood, the norm for you.

Most payment processors offer pricing solutions based on the size and frequency of transactions. But you’ll want to make sure you get this right because if you exceed that number you’ll end up paying more. Make sure you look for a company that allows you to switch plans as your business grows. Review your pricing regularly so you can identify any cost-saving opportunities.

And don’t forget, most of these transactions will be fairly high-risk. The nature of online gaming attracts scammers, which we’ll discuss in more detail below. So you should look for a payment processor that offers security measures like tokenisation and point-to-point encryption.

2. Managing chargebacks

As online payment options expand, the risks of fraud and data theft grow as well. Chargebacks are costly and can damage your company’s reputation. If you receive an excessive number of chargebacks, you could be forced to close your merchant account.

And fraudulent activity is common in the online gaming world because of the nature of these payment systems. Some of these incidents are minor, such as children charging money on their parents’ credit card without permission.

Account takeovers are another common gaming problem. This happens when users use the most basic login credentials and these accounts become easy targets for hackers.

And of course, true fraud can occur where a hacker steals hundreds or thousands of credit cards, racking up purchases on each one. And every unauthorised purchase becomes a potential chargeback for your business to deal with.

The best way to filter out these types of fraud is by using a PCI-compliant payment gateway. This will provide you with fraud-screening features like CVV matching and can help cut down on identity theft and possible chargebacks on your end.

Read our blog post on how to fight online fraud without compromising your checkout for more.

3. Managing winnings and credit payouts

Loyalty and reward programs are one of the best ways to encourage continued engagement and future spending. If you want to hang onto paying gamers, your best bet is to offer some type of competitive reward-based system.

44% of gamers would like to see more loyalty and reward programs offered for in-game payments. Offering rewards increases the time customers spend playing your game. And more than two-thirds of players will continue playing if loyalty rewards are offered.

With a good payment processing solution, you can instantly automate these features and even get detailed analytics on credit payouts.

4. Delivering an uninterrupted play experience

One of the challenges of offering online payments is doing it without interrupting the gaming experience, which is often so immersive that the smallest interruption can frustrate users. One of the best ways to do this is by offering one-click checkouts for returning players.

Give customers the option to save their payment information so they can check out seamlessly. This means they won’t be redirected or have to input their credit card information over and over again.

And of course, your payment page should adapt easily to any device. This is especially important for mobile devices since that industry is taking off so quickly.

5. In-app play and pay

One of the best ways to enhance the user experience is by offering in-app play and pay. This means users can make a purchase within the app without having to stop playing.

This is one of the best ways to monetise your game since consumers are increasingly hesitant to spend money in the app store. So a common strategy gaming companies use is to provide the app for free and offer in-app purchases.

You’ve probably seen examples of this many times. You log into Candy Crush and eventually run out of lives so the game gives you the option to purchase another life. And the in-app store is always available for customers to buy more items.

These purchases are usually small but they add up quickly. In-game payments account for 43% of the mobile gaming industry. In recent years, in-app purchases accounted for a noticeably large chunk of the revenue generated by iOS developers.

6. Encouraging play from different customer demographics

The gaming industry is taking off worldwide so you’ll want to make sure you have the ability to accept global payments. Make sure you accept international currency and location-specific payments.

Fortunately, you don’t need any special permits to accept global payments. But you will want to do your research first. For instance, some countries don’t allow credit card payments so you’ll need to be able to accept alternative payments.

It’s also a good idea to consider offering Dynamic Currency Conversion. In this process, a merchant converts that transaction to the customer’s home currency. This allows for a seamless point-of-sale purchase every time.

Next Steps for Your In-Game Payments

The gaming industry continues to grow at a rapid pace and it isn’t expected to slow down anytime soon. But there is still a lot of work to be done regarding how these games accept and process payments.

This is why Bambora offers battle-tested game payment solutions. We provide a seamless payment experience for the gaming industry, both online and in-app.

We have built-in fraud mitigation services which include chargeback management and monitoring suspicious payment behaviour. With Bambora, you also get a smart player ID so you know who’s playing, when they’re playing, and what their payment method is.

And most importantly, our payment services are designed to provide a positive experience for your customers. Gamers have multiple payment options, direct credit, and an automatic retry on failed payments.

Why not contact our friendly team to learn more about our payment solutions today?


About the author

Victoria Galloway is Bambora APAC's Technical Copywriter, and has been writing and producing in the payments and eCommerce space for a number of years, both in the UK and Australia.