Sector report

Payment preferences of online gamers

Find out how gamers everywhere like to pay, and what payment options will work best for your game.

Online games have quickly grown into a worldwide phenomena. Fueled by the emergence of new revenue models, today’s gamer audience is both larger and more diverse than the traditional demographic. Effective monetization of this new audience can be a complex effort, as preferences are as diverse as they are many. Moreover, there are hundreds of different payment providers worldwide, each offering a seemingly unique method to facilitate a transaction with your end-customer.

Did you know that Swedish gamers are the biggest users of credit cards, which account for more than 41% of total online game sales?

In our research on payment preferences we take a ‘big data’ approach to establish the top payment methods for online gamers on a country level. By analyzing millions of transactions worldwide, we are able to identify the top methods of payment used by gamers in each of the major markets. Building on a dataset that goes back over a decade, we have unique insight into how online gamers like to pay.

The 2013 Payment Preferences Report presents the most detailed overview available on payment preferences among online gamers. In addition to the Western markets, we also cover Latin America, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. ”Especially the EMEA and APAC markets have emerged as a key opportunity for online game publishers,” according to Janelle Benjamin, SuperData’s VP of Research, “Understanding their preferences and behavior will be key to unlocking this exciting new geography.”

In addition, the report also includes more extensive insight into the usage of mobile payment options, such as mobile wallets and carrier billing, among online gamers. In the last 12 months, we’ve noticed an increase in mobile payment adoption in Latin America, as its share increased to 17% this year, up from 14% in 2012.

“Paying online gamers are the early adopters in terms of digital consumption. Their payment preferences provide a blueprint of what online spending will look in the years to come.”


The primary information source used for this report consists of a dataset containing almost 39 million unique virtual good transactions from MMOs, first person shooters, social games, casual games, and casino games. By aggregating transactions from different sources, and organizing it by geographical region, we are able to identify the most common payment methods for each of the countries listed in this report. The rationale behind using actual transactions is that it provides the most reliable insight into consumer behavior.

For a more detailed explanation of our methodology and answers to questions such as “Where do we get our data?” and “What type of analysis do we perform?” please visit our Methodology section.

Geographic Scope

This report covers payment preferences of online gamers in  the following 36 countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Korea (South), Netherlands, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, the United States, Venezuela and Vietnam.

Companies mentioned in this report: Allopass, Boku (MoPay), Boleta Bancario, ClickandBuy, Click2Pay, DaoPay, Global Collect, InComm, Moneybookers, MyCitadelWallet, PaymentOne, PayNova, PaySafeCard, Smart2Pay, Surfpin, Ukash, Wallie-card, WebMoneyTransfer and Zong.

Who should read this report?

Publishers and developers of interactive entertainment, payment brand owners and VCs will all benefit from the data in this series. Rather than having to make strategic decisions based on surveys and forecasts, this series summarizes and presents insights on actual sales data.

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Table of contents

Introduction & motivation 
Graph 1: Usage of mobile payment by online gamers in Europe
Graph 2: Methodology overview
Payment methods: current landscape
Bank transfers
Credit cards
Direct debit
Table 1: PayPal’s merchant rates
Prepaid cards – physical cards
Prepaid cards – printed voucher
Scenario: Cost comparison
Table 2: Cost of different payment methods
Geographical breakdown of payment methods
Table 3: Breakdown of payment methods in key regions (mil $)
Table 4: Breakdown of payment methods in key regions (%)
Table 5: Breakdown of payment methods in Asia Pacific (mil $)
Table 6: Breakdown of payment methods in Asia Pacific (%)
Table 7: Breakdown of payment methods in Europe (mil $)
Table 8: Breakdown of payment methods in Europe (%)
Table 9: Breakdown of payment methods in Latin America (mil $)
Table 10: Breakdown of payment methods in Latin America (%)
Table 11: Breakdown of payment methods in Middle East (mil $)
Table 12: Breakdown of payment methods in Middle East (%)
Table 13: Breakdown of payment methods in North America (mil $)
Table 14: Breakdown of payment methods in North America (%)
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