Key gaming payments trends to watch out for in 2022

The gaming industry has seen a lot of change this year as a record number of games were delayed for 2022, marking 2021 as one of the most delay-heavy years in gaming’s history, according to Digitaltrends. In the gaming payments space, with Covid-19 accelerating the demise of cash, alternative payments have gained momentum, and the gaming industry has been more open to innovation, for example, by adopting cryptocurrency payments.

But what should we expect from 2022? Here are the main gaming payment trends to look out for next year:

1. The rise of mobile gaming payments

The demand for mobile games keeps increasing, while monetisation challenges are becoming more complex in the gaming industry. Worldwide, mobile gaming (smartphones and tablets) are predicted to generate revenues of over $100B in 2023, with an overall compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 18% (Source: Newzoo Global Games Market Report 2020). Mobile players spend more money, more often, and the merchants who will profit most from these trends are the ones that optimise their monetisation techniques. As the most downloaded games in 2021 were free to play (F2P), finding a payment gateway that supports in-app purchases and rewarded ads should be a priority for mobile game developers.

2. Widespread adoption of cryptocurrency payments

Cryptocurrency is already a popular payment option at online casinos: players can instantly deposit and withdraw funds to their personal gaming accounts without identifying themselves. The need for anonymity and complete independence is a significant factor for online gambling, so an increase in online gambling merchants accepting crypto payments is predicted. Since cryptocurrencies are widely accepted, this monetisation method will allow the games to be played and accessed by anyone, anywhere, regardless of currency.

3. More subscription-based payments

Monthly subscription services will be expanding to cover most of the costs associated with games and apps instead of paying upfront or during gameplay, or even for in-app or in-game purchases. Companies can increase lifetime sales from each customer by offering annual or monthly subscription payment plans.

4. Less in-game advertising

While Covid-19 was a boost for gaming, players have started appreciating in-game advertising less and less. In 2022, game developers are promoting more game playing and less advertising by offering in-game purchases and in-game marketplaces without interrupting game time. For PC and console gaming, having this natural ad payment integration can enhance the realism of the game.

5. Instant withdrawal of funds will be the norm

As the gaming industry is characterised by a constant cash flow and is spread out across different time zones and regions, the ability to withdraw money using a convenient method is a significant benefit for both companies and their customers. Furthermore, merchants should equip their systems with payment gateways that provide players with a convenient way to top off their game balance. In addition to credit card payments, other payment options should be made available.

6. No more consumer payment privacy concerns

Open Banking has become increasingly popular over the years. As a result, push payments have grown rapidly, and customers no longer need to share sensitive card information. Gaming customers today prefer simple, quick, and personalised experiences. Payments can be authorised directly from a customers’ bank account using Open Banking, reducing friction. Using Open Banking, payments go directly from customer accounts to business accounts instead of travelling through card rails- in turn, this improves security, reduces fraud, and keeps costs down.

7. More regulation to protect players

In an effort to protect players from harm, authorities are planning to enforce new regulations. The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is exploring ways to restrict stake limits and advertising and also to increase the amount of time between spins on online slot machines in an effort to help players manage their spending. Italy has banned gambling advertising, and in the Netherlands, there are market restrictions that have driven almost half of sports bettors to black-market websites. More countries will likely follow suit, and measures such as banning credit cards, limiting spending, and removing the ability to cancel withdrawals could challenge the market to come up with a new payment journey that puts player safety first.

Top tip to stay ahead

The evolution of the industry now largely depends on regulators and what future models will be chosen. The role of payment solution providers has become increasingly important in the gaming operators’ ability to provide a great customer experience. Therefore, in large part, the growth of your business will be determined by who you choose as your payments business partner.