Online Gaming
What matters the most to online gaming payments?
Digitally-savvy and very engaged, online gamers have strong demands for speed, and smoothness, including paying for game titles and in-game purchases.
What matters the most to online gaming payments?
Mariana González Senior Marketing Analyst – PagSeguro Mariana González

With 316 million players, Latin America’s gaming market is a vast land – and highly profitable, considering that 200 million of its gamers are active purchasers, who summed up a volume of $ 8.4 billion in online sales in 2022. Digitally-savvy and very engaged, these customers have strong demands for agility, speed, and smoothness in every step of their gaming experience – including shopping and paying for game titles and in-game purchases.

Thus, understanding their preferences and habits when paying online is fundamental. Besides the payment methods they prefer to use, it’s also important to consider the features and experiences that can lead to better conversion rates – or that tend to push Latam gamers away, for you to know what to avoid on your checkout.

The data and information presented here is explored deeper in our 2023 white paper The Payment Habits of Latin American Habits, which you can click here to download for free. For now, keep reading this blog post to check out the most important factors for gamers when shopping online:

Speed in payment confirmation is the most valued factor

The white paper mentioned above was based on a survey run with over 2,200 real, active gamers from Latin America’s main markets: Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, and Peru. For most of them, speed in payment confirmation is the most important factor when choosing which payment method they will use to pay for a purchase – the range varies between 30 to 40%, depending on the Latam country.

This ties to the fact that, across Latin America – and especially in its #1 market, Brazil –, instant payment systems are playing a more and more important role in the gaming market. While other regions are behind in terms of enabling a system like Pix, Latin American gamers are increasingly demanding speedy payments and, thus, a strategic payment method strategy is a cornerstone to creating the frictionless payment experience demanded by this customer-base.

When asked about which is their priority when choosing how to pay for gaming-related purchases, the survey participants answered as such:

Source: PagSeguro’s The Payment Habits of Latin American Gamers white paper, 2023

Payment method variety is fundamental

In our survey, we found out that 39% of Latin American gamers will abandon a shopping cart if they can’t pay with the payment method they usually use – the most impactful reason that would lead them to leave your products unpurchased. To overcome that, having a local-like payment strategy is fundamental.

A merchant entering the region’s markets with a one-size-fits-all solution fails to access 67% of the region’s gamers, who claim they prefer a local payment method. And as we’ve shown previously, the inability to pay with their preferred payment method is the number one reason why gamers will abandon a purchase.

With a local payments partner, you have both the expertise to understand the needs and trends of the payment landscape in each market you want to sell to and the necessary technology to process those payments locally. After all, each Latam market offers more than a dozen local card networks and alternative payment methods.

Of course, offering a localized payment experience is important not only for gaming businesses, but for any online merchant selling to Latin America. However, this need is especially prevalent for gamers, who are tech-savvy, speed-sensitive, ultra-connected to other gamers, and often make purchases impulsively.

The device in which they play also impacts payment preferences. With higher-ticket purchases, console gamers prefer to use credit cards – take also into consideration that this audience tends to have more purchasing power and, consequently, more access to credit cards. Among mobile gamers, the debit card reigns supreme, a reflection of their even greater demand for speed and agility in payments and of their lower-ticket – albeit more frequent, as we’ll discuss on the next topic – purchases.

Check out what are Latin American gamers’ favorite payment methods, divided by country and by gaming platform:

Source: PagSeguro’s The Payment Habits of Latin American Gamers white paper, 2023

Mobile purchases are gamers’ favorites

Regardless of the gaming platform they use, the majority (37%) of Latam gamers make related purchases on mobile app stores. Considering play, though, the dominance of mobile among the region’s users is impressive, reaching 81% of the Latin American gamers – for comparison, PC gaming sums up 61% of users and console, 57%.

It’s true that consoles and PCs tend to have higher spending volumes, but mobile gamers’ frequent purchases should definitely not be overlooked.

Furthermore, mobile gaming reinforces the need for agility and smoothness in the payment process: most of these gamers’ purchases (84%) are for in-game items, which they want to buy and get back to playing as soon as possible. These also tend to be more spontaneous purchases, so friction in payment or approval would negatively impact conversion rates.

As you can see, the online gaming industry in Latin America features huge potential paired with high demands, and businesses aligned with customer expectations definitely have a leg up in the competition.

Want to know more about mobile gaming and gamers’ payment preferences in Latin America? Click below to download our full white paper and check out all about their payment habits and preferences:

payment habits of latin american gamers white paper - download here
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