The next webinar in “The Fintech Times Presents” series further explored our gametech focus, analysing the importance of payments and payment innovation in the sector.
This February, The Fintech Times is taking a deep dive into the world of gametech. Grab your headsets and controllers and tune in to hear about the latest tech and celebrities influencing the market to the development of eSports and much more.
In this webinar, host Polly Jean Harrison, The Fintech Times’ Features Editor, was joined by Mehwish Aslam, Chief Business Officer at bSecure, Ahon Sarkar, General Manager Q2 Helix and Ankur Banerjee, CTO at cheqd.
As the gaming industry continues to experience huge growth, ways to pay both in-game and out are ever more essential. With the rise in subscription services as well as in-game items such as loot boxes and skins, making payments has become part and parcel of being a gamer.
This webinar looked at some of the major trends in gaming paytech adoption, as well as examined some of the factors to consider for payments processes to be successful, such as regulation and cybersecurity. It also answered the question: why are so many payment methods required in the world of gaming?
It was kicked off with the panellists discussing what they believed people were paying for in the sector. Answers ranged from subscriptions services to gain access for multiple titles but no complete ownership over them, to in-game assets to customise an avatar or player. They discussed how “pay to win” games were no longer as popular as they once were, and that the hype of different cosmetic items was what was driving sales. The panellists then expanded on paytech trends in the gaming industry. Ahon Sarkar started by pointing out how games were starting to be seen in the real world. “Pretty soon what you’re going to see is the currency that you use in-game, you will be able to use in real life. Maybe what you do in real life will earn you currency in the game. Another big trend is comes in the form of personalisation. Gamers are great at rationilising. They will work out that spending $10 for a skin in a game sounds crazy, but they’ll spend $12 at a bar and be finished with that drink in ten minutes, whereas the skin will be used for 30 hours, so why wouldn’t they buy it?”
The conversation then naturally moved on to the topic of regulation, as Mehwish Aslam spoke about how Apple Pay and Google Pay were growing in popularity in the gaming sector in Pakistan. Compared to the US, where crypto can be transferred as a legal currency, it cannot be in the South Asian country. “When you talk about crypto or the digital economy, geography is very important… we have limited options yet I’m excited to see the adoption rate of mobile gaming as 78 per cent of smartphone users are now getting involved.” Said Aslam.
The panellists discussed how transaction costs were impacting payment methods for merchants. Sarkar said, “If I have to go to a store and buy a card, I could have spent days trying to get $10 into a game. Whereas if I can just push a button and there’s money in my account, that’s way easier and worth a premium. So that’ll make you think, it costs three per cent to make a credit card transaction and 30 per cent to make an Apple Store transaction… It’s so hard for someone to put money into your ecosystem that despite the percentage being so high, it remains an appealing option.”
The panel was rounded out with all the participants discussing what is needed from paytechs in order to help businesses make as much money as possible. Banerjee said, “I think games are trying to reduce the time to question yourself: ‘should I really buy this?’ If you throw consumers a web page where they have to fill out their credit card details and address, they may go away coming to the conclusion the purchase wasn’t worth the time. So it’s about making that process as frictionless as possible.