To get an idea of how society is changing along with technology, and technology is changing society, consider the following:
The pandemic means that, in search of switches, pads, joysticks, and VR headsets on hand, more than half of the American population goes online to play.
Players are a dedicated group seeking the fun that accompanies the whirlwind of graphics, with communities spread all over the world, linked together in real time.
They’re willing to pay for the privilege, too. And along the way, the metaverse could fully flourish.
71% of gamers play games weekly – and spend an average of $61 per year to do so. Multiply that annual spending by hundreds of millions, and it’s no wonder that even in 2020, gaming was a $180 billion industry.
Thus, economies are formed within these hypothetical ecosystems. But payment problems arise, partly related to the complexity of managing cross-border transactions.
In an interview with Karen Webster of PYMNTS, Scott Damasa, President of Commerce, Technology, Communications and Games at NAM at Citi and TTS, and Aman Chadhae, President of Commerce, Technology, Communications and Games at APAC at Citi, TTS, said advanced infrastructure makes it easier for different stakeholders to monetize the system. Environmental video games.
Damasa noted that the gaming world has come a long way since the days of Atari 2,600 decades ago.
“Previously, you would go to your local store, buy a box of software, it was a physical disc, it was a cartridge, whatever. And that was it. Game over,” he said. Pay $40 and get the game cartridge, in other words.
Fast-forward to the 21st century, and the subscription model reigns supreme, with add-ons, skins, and all kinds of ways to stay in touch with consumers. There are many touch points between players, platforms, and even advertisers for engagement and transactions. (There is also money to be made in terms of people research Other people play games.)
Behind the scenes, of course, there are revenues, royalties, and fees that accrue to developers, publishers, and all kinds of content creators.
Damsa said, “Everyone wants to get paid quickly, and you can’t wait for the end of the month. In some cases you have to pay [creators] Immediately to continue providing their services.
Chadha said this sense of urgency and desire for transparent money flows extends beyond play to all kinds of other platforms, including the gig economy. For financial institutions (FIs) and corporations, aggregate payments are no longer sufficient to meet the requirements of perpetual trade. For the payers themselves, it is possible to charge a fee for speed and convenience.
Through platforms, Damasa and Shadeha said, connections are established across market economies and peer-to-peer networks that allow the exchange of goods and services.
Improving communication “opens up a lot of possibilities,” Shatha said.
Developers, in particular, prefer alternative payment channels, including digital wallets – many of these creators may not have bank accounts. They highlighted Citi’s WorldLink Payment Services, which allows users to issue payments in more than 135 currencies without having to maintain accounts in the local currency.
The two Citi executives said the confluence of gaming, payment infrastructure, and virtual reality (VR) advances the path of the Metaverse, drawing people into VR party settings and other events.
The infrastructure to facilitate 3D shopping experiences and interactive digital storefronts is still under construction. For now at least, Shadha and Damsa said payments will need to be standardized to work with different models as those models evolve.
Going forward, incorporating payments as part of the mix, Damassa has highlighted the advantages that the 3D metaverse will have over 2D renderings. He said the metaverse could bring commerce anywhere (including, for example, the beach).
As an opposite, he presented the fact that in the early days of cinema, film cameras were stuck “inside” studios and sets. And soon cameras and motion picture technology became nimble enough to go anywhere.
As Damasa told Webster of Metaverse: “We’re waiting for our shooting moment.”