The video game industry has experienced monumental growth over the past decade, exceeding, by some measures, the movie and music industries combined. And with a population that is increasingly online, one of the best performing areas of the gaming world is the online market.
Several pricing strategies exist for developers and publishers to utilise, and all of them (bar freeware which is entirely costless) require some method for players to make a payment. A lot of the most popular modern titles may be free-to-play initially but offer in-app purchases to access premium features, services or virtual goods.
Transferring money from a private individual to a game distributor demands the services of a middle-man. Many reliable gaming sites will offer a range of payment options to their customers to ensure the most popular alternatives are covered.
The casino industry is a prime example. Take gaming market leaders 888, their online poker site accepts credit cards: Visa and Mastercard, debit cards like Maestro, online e-money services: PayPal, Neteller and Moneta, as well as bank drafts and cheques to name only a few.
The number of online gaming transactions being made increases daily and the primary concern for customers is that their payments are secure. High profile reports of data leaks, scams and online fraud have rightly made consumers more vigilant when making payments on the web.
Each of the popular payment methods have some intrinsic security features to protect shoppers and it’s worthwhile being aware of your liability. Furthermore, we will delve into the choices you have and, depending on your requirements, which might be the most suitable for your needs.
Card payments are perhaps the oldest form of internet payments that in the modern world we’ve become accustomed to using. Excluding the fact that you may have the tedious task of inputting your card details – some browsers offer to save them in a wallet to mitigate this – they’re simple to use and are usually free from charges if you’re paying in your home currency.
The big caveat with card payments is that you need to place trust in the destination site or application that their encryption methods are up to scratch. On top of this, there’s no real way to know how securely your information is being stored.
Given the choice between a debit and a credit, always opt for credit cards when making online payments. Debit card payments leave your account almost in real time and it is therefore harder to recover your funds if something goes awry. Conversely, you have more time to pay off your credit balance and subsequently have more in the way of consumer protection.
Digital wallets or e-wallets are also popular choices for online payments since they position a further security barrier between the payee and the payer’s funds. Increasing that distance provides extended protection against online fraud and, depending on the service’s terms and conditions, improves the likelihood of recovering any money lost unlawfully.
PayPal accounts is the most well known e-wallet and has been operating since 2001. Users need only input their financial details once then they are kept safely with PayPal.
This speeds up the process of making in game purchases since you don’t need to retype lengthy account numbers. Fees are dependent on a few factors so if using PayPal make sure you read up on the terms and conditions.
Other digital wallet options are Neteller and Skrill among several others. Neteller, Skrill and PayPal all offer slightly different services regarding foreign currencies, saved cards and repetitive billing so compare each of them against your requirements before making a decision.
Bank Transfers and Regulations
Gone are the days when bank transfers were the default online payment system. Having been replaced by more convenient, safer alternatives, it’s rare even to find e-commerce sites accepting this form of payment.
Especially concerning online gaming, while it might be suitable to purchase a title outright, the lengthy transfer times means it’s impossible to make in-app or DLC purchases sufficiently quickly. Only ever hand over your bank details to someone you explicitly trust. Furthermore, recent regulations in Ontario have been implemented so that iGaming operator platforms perform identity authentication protocols when a new player creates account or performs a transaction, making the payment process seamless and secure.
Available only on a range of Apple devices, Apple Pay is a relatively new payment system that uses your biometrics – face ID or fingerprint ID – or device’s passcode as a security measure to access your funds. Some apps, especially ones purchased through Apple’s App Store are compatible with this form of payment, making it easy to purchase new titles or content within your favourite mobile game.
Due to the introduction of new regulations as a result of collaborations between iGaming Ontario, the Government of Ontario and the Alcohol/Gaming Commission of Ontario, it has helped establish a new online gaming market to helped protect consumers gambling through private gaming operators.
Players can find the full list of approved operators in Ontario where they can make the safest choice when it comes to their online gaming experience and payment processes are safely secured. In addition, this partnership has encouraged major iGaming providers to become leaders in their market space, sharing the latest news and goings on within their platform as the market continues to evolve.