Micropayments on the rise in Europe


Hi-Media Group and Harris Interactive have released their “Micropayment Barometer” which seeks to measure the progression of micropayments globally and, particularly, in Europe.  For the European part of the barometer, 4k internet users across France, Germany, Italy, and Spain were included.  The main finding of the study was that micropayments are pretty widely and increasingly used across the four countries, with approximately 52% internet users having used micropayments to purchase digital services and content.  This level of micropayment usage is essentially the same as in the US (51%), but lags behind Brazil which stands an impressive 76%.  The usage of micropayments in France is, however, lower than the ‘European’ average, standing at 44%.   Opinions about micropayments amongst Europeans are quite positive as 74% consider it a reliable alternative to payments using bank cards, 80% feel it allows them to access useful content, and 80% would recommend this mode of payment to their friends and family.
The positive trend around micropayments is particularly good news for the online and mobile video game sector, as 1/3 of all micropayments are related to games and 10€ of the 25€ total monthly micropayment spend comes from video game related content/services.  Interestingly,  French gamers tend to spend a lower average amount on game related micropayments, carrying out approximately 2.6 transactions/month for a total of 7.5€/month.  However, having grown 44% between 2010 and 2011, game related micropayments in France are definitely on the rise.  In terms of what they use micropayments to buy, French gamers tend to spend on downloadable (paid) games (45%), virtual currency (40%), and premium content/access (33%).
Micropayments are clearly gaining in popularity in Europe and becoming standard practice.  It would be interesting in a future barometer to learn more about the growth of mobile payment services such as iZettle (considered the ‘European Square’) and if they’re yet having any impact on this space.
For those who read French, you can check out more highlights from the barometer here.