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Conquer Southeast Asia’s gaming market with PayNow and Maya

July 9, 2024
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As the videogame industry continues to expand worldwide, Southeast Asia is the fastest-growing market for game developers and players. From Brunei to Vietnam and each country in between, the market share is poised to grow to 7.14 billion by 2026, with an annual growth rate of 8.5%. Now is the time for developers to understand this region's gaming landscape and preferred payment methods and take advantage of reaching new audiences and increasing their revenue. As a global expert in e-commerce for the video game industry, Xsolla's multi-platform checkout solution, Xsolla Pay Station, is already ahead of the curve. With recently added payment methods PayNow for Singapore and Maya for the Philippines, your company can benefit from the knowledge and tools needed to start your expansion. The rest of this blog will provide a top-level overview of the Southeast Asian gaming landscape and payment methods, paying careful attention to Singapore and the Philippines to give you what you need to know to take your next steps.

The gaming market in Southeast Asia

With large neighbors to the north, like China, Japan, and Korea, developers often overlook Southeast Asia as a hotbed for game development and gamers, but this is changing. Since 2019, mobile gaming has been on the rise. Today, 80% of players in the region can enjoy mobile games due to the proliferation of 5G networks, the overall adoption of cell phones, and the growth of cloud gaming. This technology boom makes the barrier to entry more accessible and less expensive. From a demographic perspective, mobile gaming appeals to young and middle-aged gamers — more than 55% of gamers are about 55 years old, and over 40% of players are women. Esports has also found a welcoming home in Southeast Asia. A recent Tencent report predicted that esports revenue would grow to 72.5 million USD by this year, a rate that is almost double the global average. Streaming platforms are poised to join the action, with significant players like Twitch and YouTube expected to increase regional investments.

The rise of gaming in Singapore and the Philippines

If you have considered expanding your reach to Southeast Asia, then Singapore and the Philippines should spark your interest. Both lean heavily into game development on national levels, with educational institutions boasting new programs geared towards creating the next generation of game developers. The countries’ governments also add incentives to help fuel the rise of game development studios. While the Philippines has the fastest-growing mobile games market, Singapore boasts over half of the region's gamers with the highest ARPU, at approximately $98.45 per player in 2023. Despite the immense gaming opportunities, both countries face some challenges. Singapore's ability to attract big international gaming companies is great, but the government still needs to work on developing its domestic video game industry. Local developers need help with talent shortages, funding limitations, and fierce competition from a globalized market. The Philippines also faces difficulties, with a lack of funding and slow user growth. Unequal access to high-speed internet and expensive devices creates a digital divide that hinders online and mobile gaming, especially in remote areas.

A closer look at payment methods in Singapore and the Philippines

While the two countries share many similarities, their preferences for payment methods differ. Singapore has the advantage, with over 98% of its adult population owning a bank account. As a leading technology hub in Southeast Asia, Singapore is the fourth most digitally competitive country. Its total transaction value of digital payments is growing by 18.23% annually through 2027. Real-time digital payment methods jumped 48% in 2020 and will reach 392.94 million USD by 2025. Launched in 2017, PayNow is leading the charge in peer-to-peer real-time transfers, running over the existing FAST (Fast and Secure Transfers) system (an intrabank service connecting over 24 major banking institutions) launched in 2014. Today, over 80% of Singapore residents and businesses use PayNow as an alternative payment method. Where Singapore has embraced new financial technologies, the Philippines is still a cash-first nation. Despite 66% of the population without a bank account, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the country to embrace digital payment adoption, growing from 1% to 20.1% between 2013 and 2020. The country's central bank, BSP, has been instrumental in guiding consumers in the Philippines to adopt real-time payment methods; however, the biggest shift in the payment method landscape has been the introduction of digital wallets. By 2025, digital wallets will hit 65.2 million users — a considerable jump. Maya, the number one digital bank with over 3 million users, is also a standout option for the country’s game enthusiasts. As of 2023, Maya claimed 57% of the Philippines' digital banking users, which is growing.

Xsolla Payments

xsolla-blog-alipay-maya-paynow-featured-image-01-2112x1146.webp As a leading global video game commerce company, Xsolla has the resources and partnerships game developers need to branch into Southeast Asia. Xsolla covers more available local payment options specific to Singapore and the Philippines' current digital economy. With the addition of PayNow and Maya to Xsolla Payments, you can reach new audiences, provide your new players with the most popular and convenient payment methods, and reap additional benefits.
  • Insights and analysis. Gain valuable data and view trends to understand your target audience and tailor your game accordingly.
  • Localization expertise. Ensure your game resonates with the local culture and language, maximizing your impact.
  • Marketing and PR support. Reach your target audience effectively through tailored marketing campaigns and strategic media outreach.
  • Regulatory compliance. Navigating the complexities of local regulations can be daunting. Xsolla provides guidance and support to ensure your game complies with all necessary regulations.
Our goal is to allow you to focus on what matters most—creating a great game.

Expand your global reach today

Ready to add new payment methods to attract the Southeast Asian player community? Xsolla Payments is the solution for increasing revenue and your customer base. Talk with an Xsolla expert and take your game to new heights today.
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