The Passion Economy made up of gaming streamers and e-commerce entrepreneurs demands new payment innovation to facilitate the way they pay and get paid.
On a mission to give the passion economy the payment services they need, Luke Massie, CEO of VibePay has stepped up. He is a young CEO at the forefront of new technology and payment processes in both the UK and EU. His company VibePay, which powers account to account payments between consumers, friends and businesses, is only a few years old, but is shaking up the payments industry.
Here Luke explains how the payments industry needs to adapt as gamers are driving the Passion Economy.
Luke Massie, CEO of VibePay
The Covid-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for many trends across the globe, but one of the major growth areas in 2020 has been the rise of the Passion Economy, driven by the gaming industry.
With the majority of the world in isolation and many facing limited job opportunities, there has been a boom in the use of digital platforms, such as Twitch and StreamElements, which is resulting in an emergence of entrepreneurs creating new revenue streams based on their individual skills and personalities.
Gamers are taking advantage of the global accessibility the streaming platforms offer. These platforms provide them with the opportunity to receive tips and donations, building an income that aligns with their gaming passion. The accessibility means it is possible for anyone to be an entrepreneur and earn a living, while at the same time feeding the passions of their community.
With Twitch managing to clock 17 billion hours watched last year – 83% higher than 2019’s 9 billion – there is a huge market opportunity for streamers, and many will be looking to make the most of the extended lockdowns we are facing.
However, when we see the acceleration of new trends, it shines the light on other industries, highlighting their flaws. This has happened in the payments space.
Payments for a streaming generation
The Passion Economy is fuelling a new model of internet-powered entrepreneurship, yet it has become increasingly apparent that the payments industry is still serving dated solutions. Many streamers receive tips and donations through methods such as Twitch Bits. However, they are subject to unfair fees and have to wait days to receive funds as the system is currently powered by traditional players like PayPal. This shouldn’t be happening as these streamers expect seamless digital services. The payments industry needs to respond by providing a frictionless experience with instant settlements. Even more importantly, solutions that will bring added value to their streaming business and help create stronger relationships with their fan base.
The Open Banking opportunity
Thanks to the drastic reduction of barriers within the financial industry through Open Banking, the payments industry can now make these services a reality for streamers. We are now seeing the birth of new products built for gamers’ needs and, as the financial industry becomes increasingly accepting of Open Banking, we will see a further creation of new opportunities and partnerships between fintechs and the gaming sector.
The payments industry now needs to take advantage of the opportunity Open Banking provides to start building solutions for streamers and the wider Passion Economy. Fintechs no longer have to focus on creating the plumbing as Open Banking offers the foundations to build on top of this. Instead, fintechs need to focus time and attention on the solutions for the new wave of entrepreneurs, looking to other parts of the globe to build on the successes achieved elsewhere.
While we may see life slowly turn back to normal in 2021, some of the new trends that cemented themselves within our lives during 2020 are here to stay. Gaming will continue to boom and we believe the Passion Economy will evolve and expand into new markets and areas. We need to celebrate and encourage creativity during these difficult times and payments can play a critical role in powering this new economy. Rather than payments being an inconvenience for entrepreneurs, we must create an environment where they can focus on the things that they love doing the most and earn a living.