The way in which we pay for things has altered rapidly over the past several years, with technology creating myriad new ways to pay without the need for cash.
Brand new business propositions such as new secure payment systems, mobile banking, online investment platforms, peer-to-peer lending, cryptocurrencies, and crowdfunding are revolutionizing the entire financial services industry, with a knock-on effect to almost any business that trades online.
Today’s consumer can do almost anything, including do the weekly grocery shop, play online games or trade stocks and shares online, using payment methods that just a few years ago did not exist.
The gaming industry particularly has enjoyed a huge surge in popularity as new payment systems make it easier and safer than ever before to play online.
Digital Adoption in the Gaming Industry
The gaming industry has seen rapid expansion as more providers begin to offer digital channels for play. The ability to access favourite games from anywhere and at any time holds great appeal to a lot of people, with mobile gaming and other online channels increasing in popularity.
Whether you want to play online bingo or casino games online, the gambling industry has made sure they stay on trend with technological advancements to suit the needs of their customers.
The online gambling industry alone is expected to reach a revenue value more than £1 trillion by 2021, according to research by Juniper. Within that same time frame, it is predicted that we will see an increase of around 800% for gamers using new virtual reality technologies.
Not only are consumers being drawn in by the choice of games and ease of access – they are also satisfying their gaming urges using new digital payment methods that expand that choice and make the process more convenient.
Research shows that as much as 86% of the population expect to increase their use of technologies such as mobile wallets over the coming two years. There are multiple payment systems already in place that offer more choice than ever before.
EWallets and Mobile Wallets
EWallets and mobile wallets are fast and easy to sign up for and facilitate online transactions securely from any device, with a streamlined service that only requires customers to enter their details once.
The personal funds and data of the customer are stored securely within the wallets, enabling one-click purchases from any online stores or gaming sites. Funds can be transferred instantly between wallets to provide 24/7 access.
Cashless payments are nothing new – the first credit cards were introduced back in the 1950s. What is new is the displacement of more traditional currencies such as cash or cheques with cashless payments.
As early as 2012, cashless payments had overtaken cash, with 68% of all transactions by value in the US accounted for electronically. Since 2012, there have been numerous advances that have streamlined cashless services and made them more convenient than ever.
Leveraging technologies such as connectivity and mobile has resulted in a world where few people carry cash and almost everyone has other methods of payment to hand at all times.
Digital currencies, or cryptocurrencies, are now recognised as legal forms of tender by organisations such as the Financial Conduct Authority.
Currencies such as Bitcoin are more widely used for services such as online gambling or gaming. In Great Britain, regulations state that any gambling business that wishes to add cryptocurrencies to its payment services must be in possession of a valid operating licence.
Many gaming and gambling sites have opted away from using cryptocurrency as a payment method and instead use the traditional payment methods of bank card and/or PayPal.
PayPal is one of the largest platforms in the world for making secure online payments. PayPal allows for online gambling deposits in many countries, although there are restrictions in others, including the US.
Depositing money with PayPal is a fast, simple experience for the user. The limits will vary depending on the gaming site, but the process is almost always quick and easy to complete.
Payments will usually clear instantly once they have been approved, allowing gamers to start playing straight away once they have made their initial deposit.
Apple Pay allows owners of an iPhone to make payments via tier mobile using a simple touch confirmation. This effectively means consumers can use their fingerprints to pay for almost anything, so long as the merchant has Apple Pay facilities.
This technology is relatively widely used among the younger generation, who are typically the most avid online gamers.
Local Payment Systems
Many online gaming websites are beginning to increase their reach by offering a range of popular local payment systems.
Adding systems such as Alipay, WeChat Pay, Yandex or Qiwi opens the market into new territories, making it easier for gamers in countries such as China or Russia to enter and play.
Many of these services also offer cash-based deposit methods, which expands the demographic even further to include young people and people who do not have access to a bank account.
Integrating new payment systems within the online gaming industry is not always easy for the merchants. Regulations are often stringent, and they can vary drastically across borders, requiring careful planning for sites that can be accessed internationally.
However, increased consumer adoption suggests that taking the time to implement the correct systems and offer consumers a wider choice of online payment methods for gaming will pay off in the long-term.
The online gaming industry is expanding, and more people are discovering the joys of playing online every day.
As the audience grows, we can expect to see a wider bank of options for making payments that hold cross-generational appeal, using new and older technologies to ensure payments can be made quickly and securely with complete peace of mind.