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Mobile Payments

A new study by ACI on how gamers play and pay

Tuesday 26 June 2018 | 02:01 PM CET

ACI Worldwide and Newzoo have released a new report on how digitalization is transforming the way gamers spend.

62% of gamers spend on digital downloads compared to 46% on boxed or disc games. 51% of gamers have spent on in-game purchases, demonstrating the growing importance of optimizing payments to seamlessly integrate with gameplay. 

What Turns Players Into Payers: Understanding the Gaming Payments Experience” provides insight into the payments habits, and favorite games, of players in the US, UK and Germany – key markets that combined account for almost 30 percent of global games market revenues.

The global gaming market is expected to reach USD 137.9 billion in 2018, but it remains a challenging environment in which to engage and convert players. The proliferation of free-to-play titles across all platforms has led to alternative revenue pathways. 

However, 40% of non-paying gamers do not spend on games because the free gaming experience is satisfactory, showing there is further scope to monetize gameplay and generate revenues. The survey found that fraud also remains a concern for more than one third of online players.

Other key findings from the study, which accounts for mobile, PC (desktop) and console gaming platforms, include:

Platform is a key consideration for payments

  • Mobile is the dominant platform, with 95% of respondents actively gaming on mobile devices, but also has the lowest proportion of paying gamers due to the prevalence of free titles.

  • US  gamers are far more likely to pay on mobile (60%) compared to gamers in other countries surveyed (49 and 43%  in UK and Germany, respectively).

  • 78% of US gamers who have spent money on mobile have done so for in-game purchases, compared to only 65% in the UK. and Germany.

Alternative payments becoming more prevalent

  • PayPal is the preferred payment method across all markets surveyed, on every platform. Generally positive opinions toward the incumbent make it difficult for newer payment options to gain market share.

  • 23% of gamers surveyed view cryptocurrency positively as a payment method, indicating potential growth as mainstream acceptance and accessibility increases.

  • Trust is the most important factor in determining payment method preference (38%), followed by speed (30%).

 “Gaming is one of the fastest growing segments within the broader entertainment industry, which continues to undergo rapid change as many forms of entertainment go fully digital,” said Andy McDonald, vice president - merchant payments, ACI Worldwide. “Mobile and console gaming is driving changes in payments, especially with smaller value – and more frequent – in-app purchases on the rise. Gaining insight into the payment habits of gamers – especially as the cross-platform success of franchises such as Fortnite increases – is critical, as businesses strive to deliver next-generation, seamless payments experiences.”