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The CX challenge

With a vast array of game genres, devices and channels now available to choose from – as well as an ever-diversifying gaming demographic to please – successfully creating a sustainably monetized game is an increasingly tough challenge for gaming companies.

Customer experience, of course, is the key. Gamers want to spend their game-time playing, not being stuck in administrative processes that interrupt their experience. Players who are prepared to part with their money to enhance their gaming enjoyment don’t want to feel like they have to stop playing to pay – it must be fast, seamless, convenient and secure, giving them no reason to pause, hesitate or exit the game.

Expectations around customer experience mean that hitting the right keys in gaming payments strategy has become vitally important in retaining market share and building long-term customer loyalty.

The fraud vs friction saga

As more and more games are played (and paid for) in the digital world, the gaming sector is being hard-hit by fraud, and customer concerns about security remain high.

Our latest research into the games market shows that 38% of gamers have had a negative experience while paying online and 19% of gamers have experienced fraud when paying for (or within) games online. It also revealed that 33% of gamers are less likely to spend money on games online, or make in-game purchases, because they are worried about payment fraud when using online payment methods. This illustrates that fraud and security are not issues that gaming merchants can simply afford to ignore.

On the flipside, 44% of paying gamers in the US, and 36% in the UK, said that encountering extra security measures when making in-game purchases slows down and negatively impacts their gaming experience – making them less likely to complete a purchase.

So, fraud is a problem, security is a concern and we know that friction in a gaming payments experience is a no-go – how can gaming merchants solve this ongoing puzzle?

Positive profiling: the data-powered hero

As with a good strategy game, understanding patterns and behaviors – of the good guys and the bad guys – is the key to a successful outcome. And that doesn’t just apply to your attempts to defeat the villain (in this case, the fraudster). Solid information and an understanding of positive behavior can also help form beneficial alliances (in this case, loyal customer relationships).

The way to achieve this is through positive profiling – a way to use customer data to proactively profile both good customers and fraudsters.

Positive profiling requires a wealth of data and the ability to thoroughly interrogate that data to build actionable intelligence. But, to make it truly powerful, it has to include consortium data – global transactional data and known fraud intelligence from across a variety of merchants (and preferably issuers too), which helps to paint a more accurate picture of each customer by looking at their payments behavior, both inside and outside of a merchant organization.

With an increasing number of gaming converts across a variety of demographic groups, the ability to see beyond the borders of a merchant’s own data is invaluable in both spotting fraud and supporting new customers. For instance, even if a merchant is seeing a paying player for the first time – consortium data can indicate a genuine customer via the data points and time on file history with other merchants.

Digital identity: the secret weapon

Positive profiling allows merchants to create digital identities for customers, based on automated, in-depth analysis of broad and deep customer data and fraud intelligence.

This can be a vital weapon in the battle against fraud, but it can also reduce friction by helping to accurately identify genuine customers; giving merchants the opportunity to tailor their payments experience, adapt the security measures that are used and process their payments faster. The result: reduced friction, fewer false positives, an improved customer experience and increased conversions.

For gaming merchants that have to balance instant customer fulfillment and an engaging player experience with the need for robust, seamless security, digital identity can open the door to success by helping to beat fraud and secure the coveted prize of player loyalty.

director – Merchant Fraud Product

Amanda brings more than 15 years’ experience working in fintech to her current role as product director for ACI’s Merchant Fraud solution. Since joining ACI in 2007 she has held roles across sales, strategic relationship management and product management, with a specific focus on eCommerce fraud prevention. Amanda’s specific expertise is in leveraging data to enable risk-based screening for authentication, machine learning, artificial intelligence and behavioral analytics. Amanda applies these emerging technologies to payment fraud detection and prevention strategies. She also has a particular interest in using data intelligence for aiding conversion and removing friction from payment flows, helping to create value for ACI’s customers and key stakeholders.