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Mopay expands gaming, social network micropayments to US

Mopay Inc., a provider of mobile payment services, has expanded into the United States, helping North American gaming and social networking providers to open a new revenue channel.

Consumers will be able to use mopay to buy virtual goods and other digital content through their mobile phone accounts. Mopay said its specializes in letting the unbanked purchase digital goods and services by placing charges on their mobile device bills.

“The U.S. is a very important market for mopay and in fact there are two reasons why we are expanding into North America,” said Ingo Lippert, CEO of mopay, Munich, Germany. “First and foremost, we are currently providing mobile payment solutions for well over 50 percent of the top European online game publishers.

 “They require U.S. coverage, which we will provide to them very soon through our expansion into North America,” he said. “Secondly, the reason why we have been so successful as a company in Europe is because we understand the European mobile payment market very well based on our European origin.

“Our expansion into the U.S. will enable us to do the same thing for U.S. customers.”

Mopay is a worldwide provider of mobile payment services for network provider-based billing of small amounts. The mobile payment service provides 3.3 billion consumers in more than 65 countries a platform on which digital goods and services can be billed by SMS.

Catching up
Mopay serves global brands such as Bigpoint, Gameforge, Innogames, Sulake and Travian.

Mr. Lippert said mopay believes that its U.S. clientele needs to have a local partner they enjoy working with.

The U.S. offices will be headquartered in Palo Alto, CA and led by Kolja Reiss, managing director of mopay. 

Mopay’s demographic depends on the country and the respective service, but Mr. Lippert said generally the audience his company targets is between 14 and 30 years old.

Mr. Lippert said the U.S. market has had a late start with regards to deploying mobile payments.

Credit card penetration in the U.S. is one of the highest in the world, so Mr. Lippert said there was not any immediate need for alternative payment methods.

However, Mr. Lippert said as more online goods and services are introduced and U.S. consumers begin doing business in Europe, Asia and South America, the need for mobile payments will grow.

Finding help in micropayments
Mopay said its role is to educate the U.S. market on the importance of mobile payments and why they should use them.

The company plans to introduce itself to the U.S. market by meeting as many payment specialists as possible and telling them about the opportunity to add mobile to their payment alternatives, especially when they are offering commercial services in Asia and Europe.

“In today’s economic environment, now is the time to take advantage of mobile payment solutions,” Mr. Lippert said. “Until recently, many mobile and online gaming and social networking sites have been solely dependent on online advertising as a way to increase their revenue streams.

“However, with the economic crisis, advertisers have cut back their budgets, reducing additional revenue for providers and forcing them to look for new ways to secure profits,” he said.

“The answer for many has been micropayments, which enable consumers to purchase virtual goods and digital content while allowing gaming vendors to open a new revenue channel.”