Read our interview with Verena Angerbauer, Head of Payment at Travian Games.
In recent years, the gaming industry has experienced a strong growth. With an ever-growing range of games for PC, console and mobile devices, the number of players is also growing steadily. But it's no longer just about classic games: Gaming nowadays means not only games on different platforms but also online casinos, poker, sports betting, browser games and games in social networks. The selection possibilities for online players has become gigantic as the offer is diversify and with the number of users increasing steadily. This is reflected in revenues: according to statistics, sales of 100 billion dollars are expected to be achieved world-wide in 2018, and the trend is rising.
However, if you want to operate an online game, you need a strong payment service provider (PSP), who will take care for the processing of payments in the game. There are many things to consider. This guide will bring light on what to pay a particular attention to when choosing the right partner as well as information on established PSP in the gaming industry.
In the ever-growing gaming industry, it is particularly important for gaming companies to find a suitable payment service provider as the transactions in this market are somewhat different than in other online markets.
The transactions in the gaming area are microtransactions, i.e. quite small amounts unlocking new contents and objects in the game. The challenge is to deal with the multitude of in-game small transactions. This also implies that other risks and bottlenecks must be covered by the payment service provider. Here are the most important points to be considered in the selection.
While fraud is a problem for any online vendor, it is a particular challenge for gaming providers. Payment service providers therefore need a security system that recognize and stop incorrect payments, while processing correct payments. For this purpose, incoming payments must be examined in various ways, ideally tailored to the needs of the provider. Some PSP will include the default fraud detection options in the package, others book it separately.
The processing of payment transactions in as many currencies as possible is particularly important for internationally active companies. Users prefer to pay in their own currency instead of dealing with exchange rates or paying fluctuating prices. Allowing users to pay in their own currency increases not only the customer satisfaction, but also the trust in the provider. To make this happen, payment service providers work together with local banks.
Many games are available for more than one platform. Whether on a home PC or on the move with a laptop, tablet or smartphone, users should be able to make purchases from anywhere. The process should be optimized for each device so that the payment is processed quickly and securely on each device.
Gaming providers are rarely bound to the local market, with games often available in several countries. For gaming companies to be able to expand further, they need the support of an experienced payment service provider, who is familiar with the regulations and laws of their operating countries. If a provider has a comprehensive network of local acquirers, it facilitates the domestic processing and increases the conversion rate. The connection of the country-specific alternative payment methods should also be ensured by the PSP.
Finally, good customer support and stable systems are not only important for gaming providers, but for any online retailer. When choosing the payment service provider, the accessibility of customer support, preferably 24/7, should therefore be high on the list of priorities.
The systems must be stable and able to answer a large number of inquiries. Protection against hacker attacks and DDOS may also be a factor in the selection of the payment service provider.
The conversion rate can be increased with the use of the appropriate payment methods. Each country has different preferred payment methods. Therefore, companies should ensure that they can offer 4-6 most widely used payment methods of a country at check-out.
Many people also like to use their credit card online because they are very secure and is widely trusted among users and shops alike. Therefore, many games offer the possibility to pay by credit card. Users can also pay in their own currency, which makes the process simpler and more appealing. In addition, these types of payment often provide additional means security features. Hence, the payment with credit card should be offered, independently from the type of game.
In Germany, the most important providers are Visa and MasterCard. International company should also consider offering American Express card and other credit cards. The highest the concentration of users from one country, the more important it is to offer local cards.
E-Wallet is the term for a digital wallet, a cashless payment method for online shops. The user can load money on the wallet and use it for online shopping. Depending on the provider, different payment methods are available. According to statistics, more than half of 1,000 respondents used such a service for their purchases in 2016.
Probably the best-known provider in this segment is PayPal, which has also been the leader in payment services for many years. Widely spread, the company secured the majority of market shares in this sector, 24.7% of mobile devices transactions and 40.1% for consoles. Its great international popularity, makes PayPal almost an obligation for every gaming provider.
However, for online casinos, poker and sports betting, Skrill is becoming more and more an e-wallet provider.
Not everyone has a credit card, a PayPal account or is willing to provide their bank details. Therefore, some payment service providers offer payment via mobile phone. The amount is either deducted directly from prepaid cards or appears on the monthly invoice. This allows gaming companies to tap into groups of consumers that are not reached using traditional payment methods.
This method works the same for all merchants: after the “Payment with mobile phone" option is selected for the payment methods, the corresponding mobile phone number must then be entered before are debited. The purchase is confirmed by a code sent by SMS. In order to speed up the process many providers offer the possibility to permanently store a mobile number. To do this, they must be confirmed only once and users can pay for it as often as they want.
Boku, a payment service provider often seen in the online gaming branch, offers this payment method.
Prepaid cards, or game cards, are becoming increasingly popular among players. An increasing number of publishers are offering this method of payment for their games. These cards can be purchased at many stores and have a certain credit or time quota (membership game). The code on the card is then used for in-game transactions.
The reason for the popularity of this method is, among other things, cost control, as you purchase a fix amount of credits in advance. In addition, payment with a prepaid card is anonymous; you do not have to provide any private information or bank details. This makes the payment in games or on gaming pages more secure for the user.
One of the biggest PSP offering prepaid cards for the gaming industry is Paysafecard, although many game producers such as Blizzard, Riot Games and EA, as well as console manufacturers Nintendo, Playstation and Xbox, offer these cards directly.
Read our interview with Verena Angerbauer, Head of Payment at Travian Games.
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