PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, and other alternative payment methods. It seems they’re accepted everywhere, both online and in brick and mortar stores. It should be no surprise: after all, over 80 percent of online shoppers report that they have used an online alternative payment service (PayPal, Amazon Payments, or Google Wallet) for an online purchase in the last year. And services like ApplePay are now accepted at Bloomingdale’s, Best Buy, Crate & Barrel, Giant, Macy’s, Petsmart, Panera, and a thousands of others businesses. In fact, it’s become the most popular mobile payment service among U.S. retailers according to a recent survey released by Boston Retail Partners (BRP).
But why is this? And is it really so important to offer as many payment options as possible?
As it turns out, it actually is.
Statistically speaking, 50 percent of regular online shoppers cancel their purchases (abandon their carts) if their preferred payment methods aren’t available. Why purchase from you when someone else is selling your game and does have more payment options? With more and more retailers offering alternative payment methods, it’s your duty to keep up and keep the masses happy. It’s convenient for them, it makes you look professional, and it expands global reach, since certain payment gateways are only offered to specific countries and currencies.
In other words, the more payment method options you provide in your store, or official website (assuming you’ve finally make it E-commerce friendly), the more your business will grow.
Let’s look into this further.
Payment Gateway Options
First and foremost, let’s consider some of the payment gateways that have made an impact. The following lists are composed of a) those with the most market share, b) those most commonly used all around the world, and c) those used in the gaming industry.
Leader Global Market Share in Different Countries
According to TechCrunch, PayPal is now processing $3,650 every second, equating in $315.3 million payments per day. The payment processor handles about 5 million transactions on a daily basis. Unsurprisingly, their market share (number of websites using PayPal divided by the number of websites using competitors) is massive. They’ve extended their leadership position after gaining more market share, and growing by 25 percent, or 28 percent on an FX-neutral basis. In October of 2016, they reported 192 million active merchant accounts all over the world, reflecting an 11 percent growth.
On the other hand, Square, the still young payment processor, has made up to $13.2 billion in gross payment volume in a single quarter. However, they are far from industry leaders—they’re losing money ($0.33-34 per share). Investors will want to see profitability over the next year, so this might not be a payment processor worth working with long term.
When it comes to credit cards, Visa is doing better than MasterCard, American Express, and Discovery, processing about 150 million transactions per day, or 24,000 per second. While MasterCard and American Express are somewhat tied, Discovery has been doing the same amount of business since at least 2006.
Top Fifteen Most Popular Payment Methods
Clearly, there are a few payment methods that are well-known and popularly used—payment methods like PayPal with large market shares. But what exactly are the top fifteen most popular options?
Information like this is extraordinarily helpful for all industries, including game development, since knowing what payment methods to offer first can give you a nice boost in sales and customer service. Just make sure to add to this list with other options as time goes on.
- PayPal – Global, popular, and huge market share.
- Alipay – Privacy protection, real-time monitoring, world-class payment security.
- Qiwi – Enables payment services across physical, online and mobile channels. Use cash, stored value, and other electronic payment methods to order and pay for goods and services.
- WebMoney – Top-up, pay, withdraw or get a loan for personal reasons. For your business, it allows you to accept payments, make payments, and manage your budgets and work.
- ApplePay – It’s the most popular mobile platform, this is an obvious choice.
- Epay.bg – Make payments and receive money. Based in Russia.
- TenPay – Based out of China, it allows for web payments, mobile payments, and even offline payments.
- JCB – The only Japanese based international brand, with 190 countries and territories.
- UnionPay – Accepted in 162 countries and regions, it’s the world’s largest cardholder base.
- Visa – Safe and reliable, Visa speeds up transactions and helps you grow your business.
- MasterCard – Payment options, expense tracking and management.
- Skrill – Control all your online payments through one account.
- SK Telecom – Based out of South Korea, this is one of the country’s largest payment methods.
- Danal – A leader in mobile payments, Danal offers security and great user-experience.
- Amex – Flexible options for businesses of all sizes, American Express is one of the most popular options on this list.
Gaming Niche Payment Gateways
Just in case market share and popularity don’t impress you, we’ve lined up a few other options that work with the gaming industry either often, or exclusively.
The first runner up is Xsolla, which actually provides a variety of services, from influencer connections to fraud protection, exclusively for game developers. They help with publishing, marketing, game stores, etc. However, they can also lend a hand with payments in a multitude of ways. For instance, if you work with them to set up a game store, they handle all payments, including in-game virtual items.
Xsolla provides its partners with four possible monetization modules for their games including: Virtual Currency/Packages, Virtual Items, Pay2Play, or Subscriptions. Each game implements one of the above, but is more than capable of combining two to all four modules depending on the design and flow of the game. And if that seems like too much to juggle, rest easy knowing it can all be handed in one place―PayStation.
Another option is GlobalCollect, which has been around for over 30 years. They provide smart, trusted and secure solutions to empower commerce in-store, online and on mobile. Their clients can accept any means of payment, from credit cards to alternative payment methods.
While they are not niche by any means, often working with websites, banks, stores, hotels and catering, they are also well-known in the gaming industry. One of the most prominent studios that works with them is Valve, creators of the Portal series, the Half-Life series, and the digital marketplace honcho Steam.
In a testimonial, they explained that when they needed to expand into the Russian market, GlobaCollect offered domestic alternative payment methods, stepped up fraud protection, and advised on cultural payment preferences.
For more options, you might want to check out our article, “Top 5 Payment Processors in the Games Industry.”
The Benefits of Using Different Payment Methods
Now that we’ve examined some payment gateways and their influence in the market, it’s time to dissect some of the benefits your business may enjoy simply by making it easier for customers to pay.
User Experience & Game Localization
For the sake of clarity, video game localization refers to the prep that goes into gaming software or hardware for sale in a new region or country. Each time you’ve prepped a game to go on sale in England, for instance, you’ve been focusing on game localization. This includes altering art assets, creating new packaging, cutting out parts of a game in the name of culture (sensitivities overseas differ from those in America), and adding new sections to replace the missing components.
Of course, none of this matters if you’re not capable of selling overseas. And one integral part of setting all of that up is being able to accept payments from those regions or countries. As stated before, certain payment gateways are only offered to specific countries. Having different options will appeal to a wider audience all over the world, hence increasing audience reach and expanding your business across continents.
Together, payment methods can allow you to grow your business, so you can focus on localization knowing things are being taken care of by your payment processor.
Using payment processors can also lead to higher conversions due to the decrease in abandoned carts. Remember, the objective here is to get players to your store, place a game (and hopefully other items) into the cart, and then purchase it. The transaction defines whether or not your conversion rate goes down or rises up, which explains why retail companies email you when your cart is abandoned. They hope you either forgot, or you just need a gentle nudge in the right direction.
Failed transactions are an issue that leads to losses of sales and wasted time. Customer support has more to handle, and you, the developer, are left wondering what went wrong. Was it the game? Was it the website? Was their preferred payment method not available?
Not having a payment option that the player wants to use for whatever reason can result in an abandoned cart. Instead, the sale will go to your competitors.
Doing something as simple as offering more payment methods can increase your conversion rate, since more payments will be processed. It can also increase the chance that they’ll be back to purchase more items from you in the future. Even increasing retention by only 5 percent can increase profits by up to 95 percent.
Now obviously we live in a world where looks matter. And it’s not just physical attractiveness, it’s a matter of how put together things and people are. Just like companies like to hire the candidate that looks the part and has a resume proving they can do the work effectively, potential tenants like to rent apartments in places that look fancy, or that at least look appealing. That means no trash out in front, no residents that look like they’re up to shady business, no buildings in desperate need of repair or maintenance.
This same rule of thumb applies to a business as well. Customers expect restaurants to be clean and presentable. They expect stores to cater to their needs and questions. And these days, with all of the changes and advancements in convenience that companies have implemented, they expect various payment method options. When a store does not offer more options than just card or cash, they feel like the store is stuck in the past.
Furthermore, they may wonder why you’re only accepting a few payment methods, which may result in them assuming you have business, financial, or even security issues. This is why established businesses are perceived as dependable. If you appear legitimate, they won’t worry and wander off onto someone else’s website.
Don’t Choose, Use Them All
Obviously, the reasons to implement the use of a multitude payment methods is critical, and there are plenty to choose from. There are payment gateways with large market shares, there are popular ones, and there are ones that cater to niche customers. So what are some steps you can utilize to make the process smoother for yourself?
First of all, understand that there are two types of payment gateways: integrated and hosted. Whatever payment method you decide to use, remember to check what option you get to choose from.
Integrated refers to the ones where customers checkout on your actual website, not the payment method’s. While smooth, it’s not as secure as when you let the payment method handle security. If you don’t mind having to take extra precautions, this may be the best option for you.
On the other hand, you can use a hosted gateway, which redirects players to a hosted page where security requirements are handed externally. It’s less hassle on you, but it also doesn’t look as nice.
Another thing to consider is fees. There is almost always a small transaction fee for every order, which may decrease as your volume grows, but it all depends on which payment methods you’re dealing with.
Finally, check how long the contract is. Some payment gateways lock you in for a long time, which can be problematic if you realize that they don’t meet your expectations. Try to use the payment gateways that have monthly rolling contracts and make sure you understand what their terms are.
Whatever you decide, keep in mind that the more payment methods you accept, the more your business grows, so try to use as many as you can, and make your products accessible globally!
Make Payments Work for You
There is a lot of information to take in, but if you take anything away from this article, let it be that there are plenty of options. This means that there is something out there for you, to fit your business model and vision.
If you’re looking for payment methods with large market shares, consider PayPal and Visa. If you want to work with the most popular, look into PayU and Stripe. But if you want gateways known for their impact on the gaming industry specifically, opt for Xsolla or GlobalCollect.
Just remember: Always ask the right questions that are important for you, such as how long the contract is and what fees you’d be facing. Don’t settle, as there are many options to choose from.
Your focus should be in making your business smoother, more integrated, and customer friendly. And offering a variety of payment method options is a fantastic way to do it. It helps increase conversions, make you seem professional and safe, and even helps with game localization.
So, what payment methods are you considering to integrate into your game store?
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