Navigating payment trends in gaming: challenges and opportunities

Tuesday 13 February 2024 08:49 CET | Editor: Alin Popa | Interview

Mantas Eitutis, Head of Payments Operations at Eneba, provides an in-depth analysis of the challenges and opportunities brought forth by new payment trends in the gaming industry.


In the dynamic landscape of the gaming industry, what challenges and opportunities emerge as payment trends evolve, and how do they influence the overall ecosystem?

One of the key challenges, as well as opportunities, is trying to keep up with the latest trends in general. It is difficult to track and accommodate rapid changes in both the gaming and payments industries, as it often requires expensive integrations with multiple payment processors. However, if businesses are late to adopt, they may miss out on opportunities and lose market share. In addition, new payment trends always bring fresh fraud and security concerns. Building trust in new systems is crucial to their widespread adoption, but as payment methods diversify, the risk of fraudulent activities increases. Game developers and platforms must invest in robust security measures to protect both the players and themselves from financial fraud.

Evolving payment trends can help gaming providers reach new and underserved markets, reduce friction and fees, and enhance privacy and security. However, they also face some technical, operational, and regulatory challenges, such as interoperability, scalability, and compliance. New payment technologies often come with faster transaction processing times and improved user interfaces. This can contribute to a more seamless gaming experience, reducing friction in the overall payment processes.

In what ways do subscription-based models and microtransactions contribute to the evolution of payment trends in gaming marketplaces?

Both payment models can help game developers and publishers generate more predictable revenue streams and enable diverse monetisation strategies. Subscriptions and microtransactions can increase user retention and the loyalty of gamers. They can also enhance user experience and satisfaction, effectively lowering the pressure associated with top-tier titles performance on a regular basis, which is particularly important with the rising costs of developing premium AAA video games.

However, to maintain their attractiveness and competitiveness, businesses are required to ensure a constant supply of high- quality content, as otherwise users are likely to lose interest. Moreover, while microtransactions contribute significantly to the industry’s revenues, there have been ethical concerns regarding the rise of pay-to-win styles. Such practices often stir debates regarding fairness and the overall integrity of the games, pushing some developers to adopt hybrid monetisation models.

How are gaming marketplaces adapting to the increasing demand for alternative payment methods, and what impact does this have on user engagement?

Gaming marketplaces, like any other business, try to follow customer demand and are partnering with alternative payment providers to offer a wider range of payment methods, including digital wallets, mobile payments, bank transfers, cryptocurrencies, direct carrier billing, etc. There is an increasing localisation of available payment options to accommodate user preferences in specific regions, enhancing the accessibility for players around the world. Multiple studies by Bayard Institute, Statista and other business intelligence platforms, constantly rate the ‘lack of desirable payment options’ as one of the key reasons for abandoning the shopping cart. Therefore, by ensuring that the payment process is seamless and secure, businesses can enhance the user experience, leading to improved monetisation, higher retention rates, and reduced fraud.

This editorial piece was first published in The Paypers' Cross-Border Payments and Ecommerce Report 2023–2024, which taps into the fast-growing cross-border market and provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments that are pivotal in this space, being the ultimate source of information for ecommerce businesses interested in expanding globally. 

Mantas Eitutis, Head of Payments Operations, Eneba 

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Keywords: payment methods, subscription commerce, subscription payments, fraud prevention
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: World
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Payments & Commerce

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