Ugne Buraciene, CEO of payabl., writes for Payment Expert on the need to remove lag from online gaming payments and how businesses that act now can reap the biggest rewards. 

Over the past two years, I think it’s fair to say that everyone has been looking for a way to escape reality. With our physical social lives restricted throughout the pandemic, we all picked up a new hobby or two. From baking to home workouts and painting to gaming, we all found new ways to keep ourselves occupied. 

Whilst for many, weekly bread making has been left in 2020, the gaming industry continues to experience huge organic growth. The industry was valued at $198.40 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach a value of $339.95 billion by 2027. 

Each and every day, we have thousands of games readily available at our fingertips on our smartphones, meaning you no longer have to have a console or computer to join the gaming community. It’s fair to say that the online gaming community has never been more accessible. 

Lag changes the experience

With rapid growth comes a number of challenges which, if you act quickly, can be changed in opportunities. Take in-game payments for example. In-game purchases are bigger than ever before, estimated to account for more than $74 million worldwide by 2025. To capitalise on this growth, businesses need to take action – fast. 

Gamers generally identify themselves with the platform they play on, which creates communities across different platforms. The one universal quality all gamers expect and demand from their platform is a frictionless experience. 

At the pinnacle of technology, users do not want, or expect, to experience lag at any stage of gaming. Not only is this extremely frustrating, but it also affects gameplay and fragments the whole user experience. The same goes for in-game payments. Users want to be able to quickly make payments to upgrade and continue with their game, without spending five minutes working out how to make a purchase. 

Whether you’re purchasing a new game from a console marketplace or unlocking additional coins, payments in the gaming industry now play a pivotal role for businesses and consumers alike.  So, how can businesses provide a seamless payment experience, boost customer experience and increase purchases?

Give your customers multiple payment options

The payments landscape continues to evolve and today, customers expect to see their preferred payment method at checkout. From debit cards and digital wallets to prepaid gift cards and buy now pay later, businesses need to be on top of the payments landscape, offering consumers the checkout method they want. 

Providing each user’s preferred payment method will not only maximise your conversion rate, it will minimise cart abandonment, help you to appeal to a wider demographic, provide an easy checkout experience for customers, whilst also boosting your brand perception in tandem. 

When embracing the various ways to pay, it’s important to remember to keep an eye on ever-changing laws, rules and regulations. The payment landscape is fast evolving and staying on top of the latest developments and compliance requirements will protect customers and boost brand loyalty.

Allow customers to check out where they want, when they want 

One of the best unique qualities of online gaming is the ability to connect and play across the world. In the online gaming landscape, your market is global and your payments need to facilitate your audience. 

Different countries have different payment preferences and being savvy to that will boost your business. Whilst a complex landscape, cross-border payments can unlock limitless opportunities, which is why you need to give gamers the freedom to check out where they want, when they want and how they want. 

As open banking continues to mature, it can offer real opportunities here for global payments, simplifying the landscape. Definitely, one to watch to keep your business ahead of the game. 

Highlight your fraud prevention and cyber security initiatives 

One of the main reasons consumers are hesitant to make in-game payments is fear of fraud, with 30% of players falling victim or knowing someone who has fallen victim to a gaming-related scam, and a third (32%) worried about fraud when playing online. 

It’s clear that trust and security are still extremely important for consumers when making payments within games. Companies should go above and beyond to ensure the correct payment protection is in place within and work to profile the protection in place to build consumer trust. Safe transactions underpin success here, as without secure payments not only is your profit at risk, so is your reputation. 

People turn to online gaming to connect with friends, meet new people and join a community. In-game payments form part of the gaming ecosystem and should be designed in a way that best serves the gamer. As the industry continues to level up, businesses that prioritise payments are set to reap the biggest rewards, whilst prioritising customer experience. 

It’s time to remove the lag from online payments, offering a frictionless experience in 2022.