Alternative Payments Favoured Over Card for Gamers

Consumers globally are increasingly using alternative payment methods to purchase video games instead of credit or debit card, according to research findings unveiled by WorldPay, a global leader in payment processing, risk and alternative payments.

Video Games Payment Preferences, a whitepaper exploring the payment landscape and purchasing frustrations in the video game industry based on global research of 7,554 consumers that have purchased video games online, found that alternative payment methods are used by 51% of video gamers across the globe, compared to 46% that use credit and debit cards. The research also found that the highest users are consumers in the emerging markets, with 79% of consumers in China and 71% in Russia making video game purchases using alternatives.

E-wallets have largely driven the increase in alternative payment usage, comprising 27% of overall transactions – largely driven by online video games purchases, and the purchase of modifications and expansions to existing games. Although this equates to just over a quarter of transactions by volume, it indicates the rapid growth of a relatively new payment type.

The increasing mobility of video games
The research also explored the most popular video game purchases and average transaction rates, and found that on a global scale, app store video games are the most popular, having been purchased by 49% of video gamers in the past 12 months. The U.S. (26%), Russia (26%), South Korea (44%) and India (37%) are the greatest purchasers of app-based video games. The average transaction value of app-based video games was found to be $11.14 per transaction, compared to console-based games, which command an average price of $21.50 per transaction (rising to $39.63 in Brazil).

Perceptions by payment type
The research found that payment method choice is driven by the desire for convenience and security:

  • 72% of respondents wish to save payment details for quicker future purchases
  • 80% generally use the same payment method for all types of content

In terms of payment security, a primary concern for video gamers (62%) is the protection of personal payment details, followed by whether merchants are able to assure gamers that their personal information is being kept private (53%). The research suggests that e-wallets are seen as more secure than other payment methods by consumers (34%), while most consumers suggested they are ‘very concerned’ by how well they felt credit cards (35%) and debit cards (32%) would secure their details.

Colin Murray, VP Video Games, WorldPay comments: “The payment landscape is changing rapidly and while credit and debit cards are still heavily used by consumers, we are seeing an increasing number of video gamers seeking alternative payment methods. These preferences vary by geography but increasingly consumers are choosing e-wallets to make purchases with the perception that this method is more secure, reliable and efficient than credit or debit cards. With the rise of in-game purchases, we can expect to see further developments in this sector and merchants therefore need to review their payment method portfolio and consider implementing alternative payment methods to meet this growing consumer demand. Merchants must ensure that they are responsive and flexible to consumer wishes – keeping their payment strategy front of mind – to ensure maximum transaction success.”

The statistics referenced originate from WorldPay’s The Download on Digital report, a study of over 11,000 consumers across seven countries. You can download a copy of the whitepaper here.

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