Facebook has partnered with PlaySpan to integrate the microtransaction firm's UltimatePay service with its Credits virtual currency, reaching more users around the world with new regional payment options.
Credits, which are already supported in over 200 social games and applications by more than 75 developers, allow players to buy virtual currency or goods across multiple Facebook titles. Currently in its beta phase, the universal virtual currency system is designed to be more portable than game- or publisher-specific virtual currencies.
Though Facebook takes a 30 percent cut of all Credits transactions, many developers report dramatic increases in user purchases after implementing support for the site-wide virtual currency. Casual game publisher Arkadium says it saw revenues double in five of its games after adding Credits support, for example.
This deal allows Facebook to offer users 20 new payment options when purchasing Credits via PlaySpan's UltimatePay global payment processing service, including popular regional methods like prepaid cards (e.g. Europe's Wallie-card, Taiwan's Gash card) and other options (e.g. bank transfers in Germany, Brazil's Boleto Bancario), along with traditional systems like PayPal and credit cards.
Allowing international users to purchase Credits is critical, as more than 70 percent of Facebook's 500 million active members live outside the U.S. As Facebook expands the number of global users that can buy Credits, developers will be able to reach more international gamers who can easily purchase virtual goods in their titles.
According to a report
from Venturebeat, Facebook Credits' product marketing manager Deborah Liu said the company is transforming its system into an international virtual currency. She went on to compare the potential of Credits to the Euro, which she says helped broaden trade between countries in Europe.
"We are tremendously excited to be partnering with Facebook and have been very impressed with their Credits program," says PlaySpan CEO Karl Mehta. "PlaySpan has been an evangelist of the free-to-play and microtranscation movement for the last several years, and we believe that the Facebook Credits platform will be the catalyst that will take it mainstream."