Popularity of Digital Payments in the Online Gaming Industry

You might have heard online gaming is popular. But how popular? It is estimated that there are around 1 billion gamers worldwide. Come 2025 and they’re expecting this figure to exceed 1.3 billion. That’s a lot of people playing video games out there. 

Online gaming, online payment

If it’s possible to game online, then it was only a matter of time before a gamer would be able to pay online for their gaming, too. 

The website Give Me Sport, reporting on the results of a survey of 1,000 adults for internet service provider Hyperoptic, informs visitors that adults spend up to three years of their adult life playing games online and will spend around 252.77 GBP on accessories, downloads, and microtransactions. This transforms into 15,924 GBP in terms of the average life span of an adult, a figure which could be more if consoles and single-player releases join the mix.

Making secure payments

Many people are using the internet for information, entertainment or other innocent purposes, others online are harnessing the power of the internet for malicious ends. That’s why when paying online for their games, players are keen to check they can pay securely. Below are some of the most secure forms of payment, online and offline:

  • Credit cards
  • Credit cards with contactless payment
  • Payment apps such as Apple Pay and Google Pay
  • Voice payments
  • Digital wallets, including PayPal
  • Mobile payments

As you might be able to imagine, the major presence of mobile devices means payment on mobile devices has increased massively. As of 2018, a third of internet users worldwide had used payment service in the last month. Usage was highest in the Asia Pacific region, especially in Thailand and China.

Acceptance of mobile payments has also been growing. In 2018, 29% of online merchants’ payments were using mobile wallets. In 2015, this figure had been 24%.

As payment via digital methods grows, the world can expect a significant contribution from mobile gaming, another part of the gaming industry that has exploded. 

The rise of the online casino industry

One industry in which mobile gaming is important is the online casino industry. In 2020, the market size of the worldwide casino and online gaming industry hit 227 billion US dollars. 

Online casinos have to follow the latest trends to keep up with their competitors. If they don’t, they’ll get left behind. The popularity of mobile gaming has encouraged them to make their websites mobile-friendly and provide mobile apps so that users can enjoy games while they’re on the move. Adapting to the needs of their customers has helped to draw in new players and retain existing ones, as has the wide variety of bonuses and other promotions that online casinos run.

Online casinos have also had to adapt and offer an extensive list of payment options to remain competitive and allow their players to deposit money in various ways. These payment methods vary from major credit and debit cards, e-wallets and now even cryptocurrencies. 

Protecting users at online casinos

Criminals follow the money — and there’s a whole lot of money at a casino, whether online or offline, which makes them a natural target for people who would rather steal money from the casinos than play for it. If a criminal does manage to smash their way through the casino’s cybersecurity, the losses can be substantial. As well as the casino coffer’s, the operator’s own credibility takes a beating: customers won’t trust the casino anymore with their money or their personal details.

This makes online casinos extremely security-conscious. They’ll use sophisticated encryption methods to protect themselves and their customers. They know players will be depositing large sums of money in their accounts to play. Some online casinos in the UK now offer the option to pay via mobile phone, a method that is becoming more popular. This option allows players to deposit money on an online casino and the money is then added to their monthly phone contract bill. Many players find this option safe and secure as they do not need to provide any bank details to the online casino that they are playing with.

Another measure the casinos will use is the application of deposit limits, which restricts the amount hackers or other online wrongdoers could steal from the casinos’ customers. If a hacker were to gain access to the person’s account, they wouldn’t be able to clear out the player’s bankroll all in one go.

Will the online industry see even greater acceptance of digital payments?

Although the online industry is serving up stiff competition to the offline casinos, a quick look at their land-based rivals could suggest that the industry overall may see digital payments become widespread. In June 2020, Fortune reported that the American Gaming Association, the national trade group for the US gambling industry, had called for a change in laws to integrate cashless payments for gamblers. Although some casinos have adopted digital payment, limits imposed by state legislators or gambling regulators mean such forms of payment still aren’t widespread in the gambling industry. 

Given the popularity of digital payment methods, plus the need for online casinos to follow the trends, it’s likely the industry will see even more use of digital payment technology. Making it easy for players to credit their accounts is an important part of the experience. Online casinos wish to retain players, but the more difficult it is to do something on the site, the less likely the player will want to return to play again.

Both mobile gaming and digital payment are immensely popular. It’s only natural that in the world of online gaming, the two should combine. Then players can pay for the services or content they need and then get on with the very important business of gaming. 

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