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1 in 5 Gamers has Experienced Fraud when Paying for Games Online

1 in 5 Gamers has Experienced Fraud when Paying for Games Online

With digitalization transforming the way gamers spend, trust is the biggest factor for gamers when it comes to choosing online payment methods

Payment fraud is a top concern for gamers in Germany, the US and the UK, with one in five (19%) having experienced fraud while paying for games online, according to new benchmark data from ACI Worldwide(NASDAQ: ACIW) and Newzoo titled “What turns players into payers: Understanding the gaming payments experience.”

One in three gamers (33%) is sufficiently worried enough about fraud that they are less likely to spend money on games online, the report, which surveyed 2,000 gamers in the US, UK and Germany, reveals.

“The research clearly shows that fraud is a top concern for online players, an issue games developers and businesses urgently need to address,” commented Andy McDonald, vice president – Merchant Payments, ACI Worldwide. “Trust and security are extremely important factors for consumers in every sector and gamers are no different. With digitalization transforming the way gamers spend, gaming companies must offer seamless online payments, but also ensure that the right levels of protection are in place to build consumer trust and safeguard brand reputation.”

However, despite concerns about fraud, gamers’ sentiment towards adopting new digital payment methods – including cryptocurrencies – is largely positive. US gamers (25%) have the most positive attitude towards cryptocurrencies, followed by gamers in Germany and the UK (18 and 16%, respectively). Overall, when it comes to picking an online payment method, trust is the biggest factor gamers consider. 44 percent of paying gamers believe the in-game payment experience can be improved, with one-third of gamers frustrated by slow payment processes. For German players, a seamless payments experience is one of the main reasons why they prefer a certain payment method.

Other key findings:

What gamers are spending on

  • 62 percent of PC/Console gamers have spent on digital downloads, over half (51%) on in-game purchases.
  • 75 percent of mobile players spend money on in-game purchases.
  • Power-ups are the most popular in-game purchase, followed by DLC/Expansion packs and playable characters.
  • Loyalty and reward programs are a key factor that motivate gamers to spend money on a game.
  • Enjoyment is the key motivator for majority of players to spend money.

Platform is a key consideration for payments

  • Mobile is the dominant platform, with 95 percent of respondents actively gaming on mobile devices, but it also has the lowest proportion of paying gamers due to the prevalence of free titles.
  • 43 percent of gamers in Germany pay on mobile, fewer than in other countries surveyed (60 and 49% in the US and UK, respectively).
  • Only 65 percent of German gamers who have spent money on mobile have done so for in-game purchases, compared to 78 percent in the US.
  • Console games are considerably less popular in Germany than in other counties surveyed, with PC gaming far more popular than console (88 vs 75%), and 66 percent of German gamers using a PC for gaming (compared with 56% overall).

Gender, geography and age impact spending and gaming choices

  • 61 percent of all paying gamers in Germany are male, with an even split between men aged 18-25 and 26-35 years (24% each).
  • There is a gender gap when it comes to spending on games – in Germany, 63 percent of men pay for (or in) PC games compared to only 46 percent of women.
  • On console, the gender gap is smaller (65 vs 60%) and on mobile 46 percent of men pay vs 39 percent of women.
  • 50 percent of paying German gamers who are male spend money on DLC/Expansion packs compared to only 29 percent of women, who are more likely than men to spend on power-ups or time-savers.

“Gaming is one of the fastest growing segments within the broader entertainment industry, which continues to undergo rapid change as many forms of entertainment go fully digital,” continued McDonald. “Mobile and console gaming is driving changes in payments, especially with smaller value – and more frequent – in-app purchases on the rise. Gaining insight into the payment habits of gamers – especially as the cross-platform success of franchises such as Fortnite increases – is critical, as businesses strive to deliver next-generation, seamless payments experiences.”

To read the full report visit:


This research project was conducted to explore paying behavior, payment preferences and the payment experience among gamers to gather insights into the most effective ways to optimize payments conversions in games. 2,051 gamers (playing at least two hours per week on any platform) were surveyed, across the US, UK and Germany. Respondents were aged 18-40 and are nationally representative of the gamer group. Computer-assisted web-interviewing (CAWI) was utilized to “invitation only” respondents over a period of two weeks, including two weekends for a balanced sample (May 2-14, 2018). Average length per respondent: 15-17 minutes.

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