Payment Innovation – Kristian-Gjerding: Pain points of accepting digital payments in gaming


Continuing our Payment Innovation series, we spoke to Kristian-Gjerding, CEO, CellPoint Digital, as he discussed the steps to eradicating pain points in the gaming journey. 

PaymentExpert: Firstly, can you tell us more about CellPoint Digital’s place within gaming payments and how you are evolving the space?

Kristian-Gjerding: The gaming sector is an ever-evolving landscape in which there are more ways to play – and pay – than ever before. As a result, customer expectations are high; they want to compete and be involved with just a touch of a button, and be able to make payments how and where they want.

This means gaming merchants need a responsive payment platform that can be tailored to the needs of gamers and makes it easy for customers to play and pay with ease.

With so many customers realising the ease of purchasing through digital channels, our Payment Orchestration tool – Velocity – is the answer to their changing needs and the best way for merchants to keep pace. It provides quick and easy implementation and orchestration of hundreds of payment methods, acquirers, PSPs and aggregators, all through a single platform.

PE: Can you tell us a little more about payments within gaming and some of the challenges involved? 

KG: There are several challenges in the gaming space when it comes to payments – some unique to the sector and others that apply to payments more broadly.

Firstly, because gaming is considered high risk, finding a willing processor for payments can be tricky. 

Our Payment Orchestration platform allows merchants to add multiple payment processors, which minimises the risk of relying on a single payment processor.

Integrating the range of alternative payment methods (APMs) now used by gamers is another source of stress for gaming merchants as it’s an incredibly time-consuming process. But it’s also essential. 

According to some studies, more than 70% of digital customers use APMs. Therefore not offering the payment type your customer prefers is pretty unthinkable. With our Payment Orchestration Platform merchants have the choice of 168 (and counting) alternative payment methods configured to meet their customer’s needs. 

The rise in payment disputes resulting in chargebacks also presents a significant challenge in the gaming industry. Our platform simplifies the chargeback process, even for merchants with multiple payment processors thanks to our partnership with Chargebacks911. Its technology combined with our Payment Orchestration software means chargeback volumes and fees can be reduced through automated transaction reviews.

Furthermore, the advanced fraud prevention solutions Payment Orchestration provides gives the gaming industry the winning hand against fraudsters. Transactions can be analysed in less than a second, evaluating data from current and past transactions to see if they are genuine or fraudulent. 

PE: What does data tell us about the way payments are taking place in the gaming space?

KG: According to Statista, there will be three billion video gamers by 2023, and many of them will be using APMs to fund their hobby. 

In many geographies, PayPal leads the way as a payment method for online games, but cryptocurrency and play-to-earn – where the player can receive rewards with real-world value – is likely to increase in popularity. But a study in the US found 42% of American consumers will bring a purchase to a halt if their favourite payment method isn’t available.

It’s so important for merchants to understand which payment methods are used in different types of gaming and how they vary between regions to ensure payment doesn’t interfere with play and supports the immersive player experience. The easiest way for gaming operators to ensure a seamless payment journey for players is to make sure their payments network is designed to accept any APM. 

PE: How important is multi-currency options when it comes to gaming payments? 

KG: It really can’t be understated. We’re living in an increasingly global economy where a whopping 30% of eCommerce sales are now cross-border. So, while pricing in local currency is important, allowing your customers to pay using local currency is essential.

Our partnership with Continuum means we can unlock new revenue from existing payment costs through multi-currency technology solutions that enable merchants to reclaim lost foreign exchange margin while increasing customer conversion and average transaction value.

Multi-currency solutions allow gamers to pay in their preferred card or non-card currency, and price the product or service in their preferred payment currency through a simple drop-down menu.

Unlike Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC), Multi-Currency Pricing is not limited to Visa and Mastercard transactions and can be set up to include alternative payment methods. By offering gamers the ability to switch from the pricing currency to their preferred payment currency, the ‘path-to-payment’ can see increased browse-to-buy conversion rates of up to 20% and increased average transaction values of around 8%.

PE: With such a wide landscape of options, what should gaming firms do to ensure they focus on the best strategy?

KG: At the moment, the fastest way to boost revenue is through subscription services that drive higher customer retention, better engagement, and more predictable revenue streams.

Gartner predicts 75% of companies selling direct to consumers will offer subscription services by 2023, but setting up subscription billing across multiple acquirers can be complex and costly. 

In response to the growing consumer demand for subscription services, we now offer an industry-leading subscription management service using Rebar Technology, which links off-the-shelf and custom solutions to create a maximised subscription billing platform. The collaboration can give gaming merchants the edge in the high growth subscription market that’s worth $650 billion worldwide and dramatically simplify the business of subscriptions by solving the operational challenges involved.

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