Gamers Embrace Microtransactions through mobile carrier billing

Gamers Embrace Microtransactions through mobile carrier billing

  • UK gamers spend an average of €8.94 per microtransaction – twice the global average of €4.73 according to data from Onebip’s mobile payment platform.
  • Global gamers spend the most on microtransactions during the summer period.
  • Gamers see value in higher priced in-game transactions with mobile carrier billing: When multiple price points are offered (i.e. for bundles of virtual currency), an increase in the value of the highest price point available leads to an increase in the average transaction value.
  • Mobile carrier billing increasingly seen as a legitimate alternative to credit card and PayPal.

London, UK 11th August 2014: Onebip by Neomobile, the global mobile payments service, has today published a detailed global analysis of its partners’ customers’ buying behaviour in the online gaming sector. Based on the analysis of millions of transactions across 65 countries over the course of a full year, Onebip has uncovered the spending habits of the world’s online gamers.

Gamers are increasingly choosing to pay for their online gaming experiences through the convenience of their mobile phone bill via carrier billing over the more traditional payment methods such as credit cards or PayPal. Onebip’s analysis is able to paint a picture of the spending habits of gamers around the world and the increasing growth in the adoption of mobile carrier billing. Onebip’s gaming partners include publishers Gameforge, ProsibienSat.1 Games, Aeria Games and Goodgame Studios, providing payment services for such games as Ogame, S4 League, Shaiya and Big Farm.

Online Gamer Spending Habits Infographic

Transaction values: Globally, online gamers spend an average of €4.73 per single transaction. Gamers in the UK spend nearly double this with an average transaction value of €8.94, making the UK the 3rd biggest spender in the world by transaction value.

The average spend per transaction in Switzerland tops the global list at €15.09. This is mainly due to carriers in the country offering gaming companies the option to charge much higher price points to online gamers that pay via carrier billing compared to all other countries. In fact, Onebip’s data found that there was a direct correlation between countries offering higher price points as an option and an increase in the average transaction value i.e. consumers are embracing the use of carrier billing to pay for higher priced items such as larger “bundles” of virtual currency. In bigger gaming markets compared to Switzerland, such as Turkey, that recently increased the price points available for payment via carrier billing, gaming companies saw an increase in revenue (gross transaction volume) and average transaction value. (see the Notes to Editors at the end of the release for the top 10 spenders and examples of how higher price points have increased average transaction values).

A summer of gaming?: In line with common industry trends, the winter holiday period is the busiest time for online gaming spend, with 11% of global spend taking place during the month of December. However, after December, gamers spend more money during the summer period than any other point in the year. The summer months of June, July and August account for 30% of global spend. In contrast April and May are the quietest months with just 4% of annual spend in each month respectively.

Late night UK gamers: Looking at the UK specifically, the most gaming transactions happen in the evening from 18.00 – 23.59 (GMT/UT) with 38% of daily transactions happening during this time. Reinforcing the view that the UK prefers to game into the evening, the UK alone sees an unusual spike in activity during the hour starting at 22.00 GMT where 13% of all daily transactions take place (this is a sharp increase from the hours before and after – 21.00 and 23.00 – where only 3% and 5% of daily transactions take place respectively).

Saturday sees only a small spike during the week: While it is true that more transactions take place on Saturday than on any other day in the week, the spike is not statistically very significant, with between 1-2% more transactions on Saturday over on any other day. Clearly gamers are finding time to play all week, or at the least, they don’t feel the need to wait until the weekend to spend their money!

“While the maturity and penetration of mobile carrier billing varies from country to country, the overall statistics make for very interesting reading into the buying trends of gamers around the world. Gamers tend to spend using mobile payments via carrier billing consistently throughout the week and the summer period is when they spend more money than any other point in the year,” said Massimiliano Silenzi, Head of Onebip by Neomobile. “Onebip’s data demonstrates the growing adoption of carrier billing globally as a fast and safe payment method for gamers and an effective way for online gaming brands to maximise their revenue. As carriers introduce more advanced billing technologies and more flexible and high pricing options, the payment system gains further traction for game companies as a key payment channel. We predict that in markets such as Turkey and Spain where carriers have introduced higher price points recently, our online gaming partners will see an increase in their revenue and average transaction values.”

The Onebip team will have a dedicated booth at this year’s Gamescom event in Cologne, Germany from 13 – 15 August where they will be on hand in Hall 4.2 D 042C, ready to help game developers and publishers to monetize their latest creations with mobile payments.


Notes to editors

About the data
Onebip analysed the real global transaction data of its partners’ customers’ in the online gaming sector during the 12 month period of June 2013 – May 2014. The data comprises of millions of transactions made by online gamers that used Onebip’s mobile payment service through over 200 carriers in 65 countries. The summarised data provides an interesting insight into the spending habits of online gamers through carrier billing.

Data tables and further information

Top 10 spenders by average transaction value

Rank Country

Average transaction value

1. Switzerland

€ 15.09

2. Austria

€ 9.37

3. United Kingdom

€ 8.94

4. Singapore

€ 8.65

5. Belgium

€ 8.63

6. Norway

€ 8.45

7. Italy

€ 7.68

8. Turkey

€ 7.57

9. Finland

€ 7.43

10. Romania

€ 7.39

Higher price points = Increased average transaction values (Examples)


Turkey When the highest available price point was increased from 50 TL to 70 TL, Onebip’s data showed an increase of 16% in the average transaction value and a 22% increase in the gross transaction volume generated.
Italy When the highest available price point was increased by 50% for e.g. €10.00 to €15.00, Onebip’s data showed an increase of 19% in the average transaction value and a 31% increase in the gross transaction volume generated.

Time of the year: Volume of annual transactions by month

Month Percentage of annual transactions
1. June 2013


2. July 2013


3. August 2013


4. September 2013


5. October 2013


6. November 2013


7. December 2013


8. January 2014


9. February 2014


10. March 2014


11. April 2014


12. May 2014


Day of the week: Proportion of global transactions per day of the week

Day of the week Proportion of weekly transactions
1. Saturday


2. Tuesday


3. Monday


4. Thursday


5. Sunday


6. Wednesday


7. Friday


About Onebip
Onebip, by Neomobile, is a global mobile payment service that offers the best user experience and the most advanced billing technology for our partners. With over 5 billion users connected to 250+ carriers in 70 countries, Onebip enables merchants to seamlessly monetize digital goods and services to their users on a global scale. It also provides users with a simple, secure and fast way of paying for their purchases via mobile without the need of a credit card or bank account. Onebip’s deep integration with carriers and expertise in mobile direct billing enables our partners to experience the next generation of mobile payments in just one click.

Onebip started in 2005 as the first mobile payment service in the world. Today it is the mobile payment service of global mobile commerce group, Neomobile, which has offices in Rome, London, San Francisco, Mexico City, São Paulo, Madrid, Reus, Köln, Paris, Milan, Bogota, Belgrade, Istanbul and Mumbai.

Credit: Onebip | Gamers Embrace Microtransactions through mobile carrier billing