To get an idea of how society is changing with technology, and technology is changing society, consider this:
The pandemic means that, in search of diversion, platforms, joysticks, virtual reality headsets in hand, more than half of the American population is online to play.
Players are a dedicated group looking for fun that accompanies a whirlwind of graphics, with communities spanning the globe, connected in real time.
They are also willing to pay for the privilege. And along the way, the metaverse could be fully developed.
Seventy -one percent of players play weekly – and spend an average of $ 61 per year to do so. Multiply that annual spending by hundreds of millions, and it’s no surprise that even by 2020, gaming will be a $ 180 billion industry.
Thus, economies are formed within these virtual ecosystems. But payment problems have emerged, which are related in part to the complexity of handling cross-border transactions.
In an interview with Karen Webster of PYMNTS, Scott DamassaeCommerce, tech, comms and gaming sales head at NAM at Citi, TTS, and Aman ChadhaeCommerce, tech, communications and gaming sales head at APAC at Citi, TTS, said the advanced infrastructure makes it. it is easier for different stakeholders to monetize the video game ecosystem.
Damassa points out that the gaming world has been around for a long time since the days of the Atari 2600 decades ago.
“Before, you would go to your local store, buy a box of software, it would be a physical disc, it would be a cardboard, it would be anything. And that’s it. The game is over,” he said. Paying $ 40 , remove the game cartridge, in other words.
Fast forward to the 21st century, and the subscription model is dominating, with add-ons and skins and all the ways to stay in touch with consumers. There are many touchpoints between players, platforms, and even advertisers to interact and transact. (There is money to be made where people are behold other people are playing.)
Behind the scenes, of course, there are revenues, royalties, and fees accrued by developers, publishers, and all sorts of content creators.
“Everyone wants to be paid right away,” Damassa said, “and you can’t wait until the end of the month. In some cases you have to pay. [creators] immediately to continue to provide their services.
This sense of urgency and desire for transparent fund flow, Chadha said, goes beyond playing into all sorts of other platforms, including the gig economy. For financial institutions (FIs) and businesses, fixed fees are no longer sufficient to meet the needs of permanent commerce. For those who pay themselves, it is possible to charge a fee for speed and convenience.
Damassa and Chadha say that through the platforms, connections are made between market economies and peer-to-peer networks that allow the exchange of goods and services.
The improved connection, Chadha said, “opens up a lot of possibilities.”
Developers, in particular, have a preference for alternative payment channels, including digital wallets – most developers may not have bank accounts. They promoted Citi’s WorldLink payment services, which allow users to issue payments in more than 135 currencies without having to maintain local money accounts.
The combination of games, payment infrastructure and virtual reality (VR) has strengthened the Metaverse flow, said two Citi executives, bringing people to VR concert settings and other events.
The infrastructure to facilitate 3D shopping experiences and interactive digital storefronts is still under construction. For now at least, Chadha and Damassa say payments need to be modular to work with different models as models evolve.
Going forward, with payments being mixed as part of the mix, Damassa highlighted the advantages that the 3D metaverse can have over 2D offerings. The metaverse, he says, can bring commerce in any situation (including, say, the coast).
Similarly, he offers the fact that in the early days of cinema, film cameras were tied “inside” studios and sets. Soon, of course, cameras and motion picture technology became adept at going anywhere.
As Damassa told Webster in Metaverse: “We’re looking forward to our shooting moment.”