Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Nexon's Min Kim on Microtransactions and Billing

"For years, the industry has said item selling (microtransactions) would not work with the console driven North American market. However, we were pleasantly surprised to find similar adoption patterns in the US, as in Asia. Not only did MapleStory’s registrations take off; many players were purchasing Nexon Cash to access our virtual items.

"One of the early challenges for Nexon was billing. MapleStory is free to play, and all revenue is generated through item sales. The items are one of MapleStory’s most unique features as they allow players to create truly distinctive avatars. However, at the outset with PayPal being the only payment vehicle, the good majority of our user base (teens to early twenties) could not purchase our virtual currency, Nexon Cash. This issue has been ameliorated by the release of our prepaid cards at all Target outlets nationwide. The cards have been flying off the shelves, and we have had several reports of stores with no stock several days after the initial release on January 16th, 2007.

Nexon Prepaids at Target

Nexon also announces a second print run for its Nexon Game Cards at Target stores nationwide. The partnership with Target Corporation is the first of its kind for a mass-market retailer and MMO publisher, enabling consumers to redeem real dollars for virtual in-game items and accessories within MapleStory and its upcoming Audition. The gift cards are available now at all Target retailers for purchase in denominations of $10 and $25.

BSG Rolls Out Telco Payment Services

A San Antonio, Texas company that specializes in clearing and settling consumer charges for telecommunications companies has signed up seven sellers of digital content for a new online payments gateway that lets users charge downloads to their phone bills. The seven undisclosed merchants are the first clients for what BSG Clearing Solutions North America says should be a popular payment option as more merchants seek out ways to sell online content for what are called micropayments—transactions of $5 or less. “It’s a significant opportunity,” says Greg Carter, president for fixed lines and payment services at the company. “We’ve gotten aggressive to go after merchants.”

Eve Online's Payment "Options"

They offer credit cards, paybycash and prepaid "game time cards"... pretty interesting that they are expanding their prepaid retail distribution:

1st Vietnamese Mobile Payment Platform

VinaPay launches Vietnam's 1st mobile payment platform. VinaPay is the first-ever Vietnamese mobile payment platform that offers electronic transaction services to mobile operators, banks, retailers and end-users, facilitating cashless business transactions.