PayPal still top for digital game payments, but it faces increasing competition from Apple Pay and Amazon

Katharine  Byrne
PayPal still top for digital game payments, but it faces increasing competition from Apple Pay and Amazon

PayPal remains the top digital payment method among gamers around the world, according to the latest analysis from SuperData Research, but strong competition from Apple Pay and Amazon Payments are starting to erode PayPal's market share.

In the US, PayPal's market share fell from 32.1 per cent in 2015 to 24.8 per cent in 2016, but Amazon managed to increase its market share from one per cent to 4.5 per cent during the same period. This means it faces more competition from mobile than PC or console.

On PC and console, around 40 per cent of spenders prefer to use PayPal (39.2 per cent on PC and 40.1 per cent on console), which is nearly double its share of 24.7 per cent on mobile platforms. 

PayPal's lead in the UK is also shrinking due to greater competition from Amazon Payments, Apple Pay and Google Wallet. Here, PayPal's lead dropped by 2.2. per cent in 2016, taking its total market share to 30.4 per cent, while its mobile-based rivals all gained in share. 

Overall, eWallets like PayPal make up 30.1 per cent of all digital gaming transaction value. North America has the highest market share of eWallet and credit/debit card payments, making up 76.8 per cent of all North American digital game transactions, while China's in second with 44.2 per cent of all digital gaming transactions taking place through eWallets. The global average of eWallet and credit/debit card transactions sits at 55.4 per cent. 

Western Europe and Latin America, however, are the largest market segments that have tended to shy away from using eWallets, with Western Europe being the only region where credit/debit cards have the highest market share - making up 27.5 per cent of all regional gaming transactions. 

"Games consumer preference has shifted away from the multi-step, cumbersome offerings of the past, into streamlined e-wallets and localized payment methods," the report stated. "With this shift towards increasingly integrated digital payments, the result has been a better process for gamers, and increased revenue for publishers. 

"Understanding the options that consumers are comfortable with and prefer is vital for optimizing publishing efforts, especially in a digital economy where smaller, ongoing transactions are becoming the norm. Game publishers and platform providers with a global strategy must account for country-specific payment brands like Boleto Bancario (27.9% of the market in Brazil) and Alipay (20.8% of the market in China)."

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Tags: Digital , payments , paypal , digital sales , Superdata , SuperData Research

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