Mastercard and global video game commerce company Xsolla announced plans to collaborate on frictionless, secure, and rewarding payments for gamers — from enhanced checkout experiences using credit card loyalty points to simple in-game currency gifting to improved creator payout processes and more. The partnership will combine Mastercard’s technology, network-level expertise, global scale, and trusted connections with Xsolla’s platform to create customisable and more accessible payment experiences for players, developers, and creators.

Mobile devices have been fueling gaming growth among all demographics and regions, with nearly 3.2 billion people — nearly half the world’s population — estimated to have played games in 2022. But the digital commerce experiences that fuel developers’ innovation in gaming have not kept pace with the growth. More than 40 per cent of consumers say they need help to buy in-game currency, and more than 30 per cent say it takes too many steps to make online gaming purchases. Nearly 30 per cent say the gifting process could be more efficient, according to Mastercard research.

Mastercard and Xsolla will work together to enable innovative card and account-based solutions and services to improve digital experiences in payments and beyond for gamers. To kickstart this game-changing partnership, for the first time, Mastercard cardholders will be able to use Pay with Points to seamlessly redeem their loyalty points for in-game purchases — this solution will be integrated into Xsolla’s Pay Station product. Players will also have the opportunity to gift in-game currency to friends and family. The companies are partnering to solve challenges in the gaming industry and prioritize consumer protections, including using Mastercard’s authentication and fraud detection capabilities to give parents control before their child makes in-game purchases.

“Mastercard has been a strong supporter of the gaming community for many years — we look forward to further enabling cardholders to tap into their passions through this new partnership with Xsolla and shape the future of commerce in gaming. As mobile devices increase the accessibility of video games, a rewarding, best-in-class digital experience is essential to fostering a loyal gaming community and building a payments ecosystem that provides choice across platforms and dimensions,” said Mastercard executive vice president, fintech solutions Blake Rosenthal.

“The partnership with Mastercard is a testament to our commitment to continuously innovate for the benefit of developers and all players around the world. By combining Xsolla’s Payments Solution with Mastercard’s loyalty capabilities, cyber solutions and card and account-based payments technology, we can create new avenues for revenue creation and increased lifetime value for developers. We are excited to take this giant step forward in creating a better and more inclusive gaming experience for everyone,” said Xsolla chief marketing officer Berkley Egenes. 

Players will have the option to redeem loyalty points from Mastercard’s participating partners for in-game purchases later this year. Xsolla and Mastercard will demonstrate the Pay with Points solution at the 2023 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco from 21March to 24March, 2023.