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5 QUICK TIPS TO OPTIMIZE YOUR PAYMENTS
January 27, 2021

No matter how big or how established your gaming business is, there are always things you can do to reach more users and encourage more purchases from your community.

Here are five fast and easy techniques to help you get the job done:

1. Customize the process to each region’s preferences

Consumers’ buying habits around the world are often tied to the historical availability of payment methods in their respective region. Some regions adapt quickly to the proliferation of digital wallets and fintech apps, and get used to making online payments through a digital checkout UI sooner. Other regions rely more heavily on traditional payment methods such as credit cards, debit cards, or cash, and may shift to online payments more gradually.

Because users around the world are continuously adapting to a changing payments landscape, discovering new users may be easier than you think — and you don’t need to expand to new markets to find them. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of knowing the payments trends in the regions where you already operate and mapping your payments access and checkout experience to meet them.

Potentially, you can find new users simply by:

  • Letting users pay with alternative payment methods such as digital wallets, bank transfers, online banking, and other types that can reach unbanked or underserved users
  • Supporting transactions in local currencies
  • Adapting your checkout flow to match the local online payment experience

Source: Proprietary Xsolla data, 2020

For example, if you currently operate in Indonesia, it’s important to know that as much as 70% of users in this region rely on alternative payment methods to make gaming purchases. Expanding your users’ access to include these payment methods taps into a standing audience that already lives and plays where you are. And this is just one way to access double-digit growth opportunities than can help you find new users with purchasing power.

2. Be 100% transparent

More and more each year, gamers make it clear that trust matters — and while it’s hard to build, it’s easy to lose. Even an established game studio with a rabid fan base can suffer severe setbacks and reputational loss from failing to deliver on promise.

So to preserve trust with your community when it comes to payments, show them everything. Spare no detail, whether it’s payment system fees, taxes, or any other costs applicable to a transaction. Grant your users the same courtesy that you would expect from any merchant.

If a user inquires what a cost is or where it comes from, tell them the truth as clearly and directly as you can. Put it in terms that demonstrate the benefit to them: “Platform fees made it possible for you to find us, and help us to deliver updates and fixes to you more easily.” They may not be happy to hear why something costs more, but if you’re honest, they’ll respect your candor.

Transparency also encourages more frequent regular purchases like microtransactions and subscriptions, the lifeblood of many games’ monetization models, and reduces the frequency of cancellations and chargebacks. This both serves your short-term revenue goals and helps to build consistent user purchasing habits, increasing the chances of long-term success.

3. Keep payment approval rates high but fraud rates low

We’ve previously covered how important gaming fraud prevention is right now, but it can’t be stressed enough. While many industries suffered losses in 2020, gaming revenues spiked — and as more fraudsters saw video games as an opportunity to tap into a rich vein of growth, their attempts to take advantage of users and gaming companies only rose in numbers.

The short-term effects of a high fraud rate, such as revenue loss and reputational loss among users, are well-known and rightly feared. But it can also cause your gaming business to be labeled as “high-risk” among payment service providers (PSPs), and can even lead to:

  • Higher transaction processing fees
  • Lower payment/bank approval rates
  • Fines from major members of the international payment system (e.g. Visa, Mastercard)
  • Higher chargeback fees

The best anti-fraud solutions have a balanced approach, with powerful filters and parameters to sift out fraud and manual review of questionable activity without overcorrecting to stop legitimate payments. A strong foundation in gaming is also a huge plus, as the behavioral patterns and techniques practiced by gaming fraudsters will be easier to detect and stop. 

4. Track and analyze your transaction data 

To effectively make the transition from short-term gains to long-term success, it’s essential to develop a keen understanding of what is or isn’t working and respond accordingly. That’s why accurate performance tracking and analytics are a vital element of your marketing and sales strategies.

Tracking and analytics make it possible for you to reveal untested strengths, unforeseen weaknesses, or other previously unknown patterns of behavior. More importantly, this grants you the ability to make smart adjustments to how your resources are allocated, in ways that respond to market conditions in real time.

If conversion rates in a particular region don’t measure up, look deeper; if a specific influencer is driving more attributable sales than expected, considering increasing your spend. Every move you make, especially early in the life of your business, has the potential to give it the push it needs to stay afloat or break through.

Be sure that your business has access to in-depth performance reporting and make a point to regularly review your analytics. The more business intelligence that you have at hand, the more informed that you’ll be when determining your next in-market move. You should also set up alerts for abnormal behavior so that you’re not caught off-guard when a new trend takes off.

5. Let the experts handle the rest

It’s hard enough to create a fun and engaging gaming concept, develop a business around it, and do everything it takes to make it a success. So when it comes to keeping up with global payment method trends, figuring out how to accept payments in a new market, staying compliant with sales tax laws and industry regulations around the world, and more, it’s time to talk to the experts.

To keep your resources focused on the core deliverables of your business, find a dependable partner who can take care of back-office details and free you up to develop projects and foster healthy relationships with your user community. This way, you can address the parts of your business that you really care about while the more administrative issues are off-loaded to experienced, trustworthy payments professionals.

Next steps

These five tips are just a short list of ways you can enhance your ability to encourage and earn purchases from your user community — and Xsolla can help you do them all. With over 15 years of experience exclusively in gaming, Xsolla’s powerful payments tool — Xsolla Pay Station — and our dedicated team of payments experts can help you:

  • Deliver a localized, streamlined checkout UI and secure payment experience
  • Offer complete transactional transparency to your users
  • Stop fraud cold with multilevel security checks at every stage of every transaction
  • Track and break down performance accurately with in-depth analytics
  • Handle the nuanced administrative work that supports your payments, plus full dispute management services for credit card and PayPal chargebacks

If you’re not an Xsolla partner, contact us at business@xsolla.com to learn about how we can help you find even more ways to optimize your payments.

If you’re currently an Xsolla partner, email your account manager and set up a time to discuss how our expert team can help you improve your payments potential.

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