How gamers play and pay in emerging markets

3 min. read

Press play on your expansion into Africa, Asia, and Latin America by localizing your payment options.

Access to gaming has increased globally, thanks to the rise of mobile gaming, improved internet access in developing countries, and the availability of local payment methods for online and in-game purchases.

And since the development of monthly subscription-based models, such as Xbox Game Pass and Ubisoft+, players in emerging markets can access hundreds of games at a more realistic price point.

The current gaming landscape in emerging markets

Expanding into unknown territories, especially emerging markets, is an immense strain. Not only do you need to understand the regulatory complexities of a new country, but you also need to know and offer local payment options. By offering local payment methods, your star target audiences in your new markets can purchase and engage with your services. And within each developing region, there are a multitude of alternative payment methods and different buyer spending habits, depending on which country you’re operating in.

Nigeria quick payment facts

In Nigeria, the largest African economy, only 3% of the population owns a credit card, making it nearly impossible to make online and global purchases without alternative payment methods like mobile money. Mobile money enables Nigerians to transfer funds quickly, make payments, and access financial services from the convenience of a smartphone.

In 2022, there were over 60 million mobile money users in Nigeria, with the alternative payment method expected to hit a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29.3% within the next five years. Access to 5g is one of the major drivers for the growth of the smartphone and, in turn, mobile gaming.

India quick payment facts

India‘s smartphone penetration rate has skyrocketed by 10% in two years, now at 70.9%. Smartphones have enabled the mobile gaming ecosystem to boom, with over 179 million mobile gamers in India, averaging 9.3 billion mobile game downloads in 2021. There are over 400 million gamers in total, with a CAGR of 20% between 2022 and 2025.

Easier access to smartphones means the government could implement India's real-time payment method UPI, the most successful instant payment method globally, with the cumulative total of payments made in 2023 hitting 117 billion – up 49% from 2022.

Brazil quick payment facts

Latin America has a high internet penetration rate of 80.6%, and in 2022 Brazil had the largest gaming revenue in the region, amounting to $1.3 billion. Brazil is forecast to continuously increase its mobile game players between 2023 and 2027 by 12 million users.

Brazil is the blueprint for launching successful real-time payment methods. Pix, Brazil’s innovative payment system, was introduced by the Central Bank of Brazil in November 2020, and as of April 2023, over 138 million people and 112 million companies have registered for Pix payments.

Brazil is the blueprint for launching successful real-time payment methods. Pix, Brazil's innovative payment system, was introduced by the Central Bank of Brazil in November 2020. As of December 2023 87% of Brazilian adults use Pix to make payments.

Localize your expansion efforts and win

There are millions of gamers ready to pay and play, but access is still something they’re waiting for. Through offering localized payment methods such as:

  • Mobile money
  • Digital wallets – Vouchers
  • Local banks

You’re enabling your product to reach a new audience, with local payment options known to boost conversion rates by over 10%. dLocal is not only for merchants, but their customers too. We give customers the ability to interact with products and services they may not be able to otherwise, and we give merchants a simple way to access emerging markets without the stress.

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