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PlaySpan launches in-app mobile virtual currency micropayments for Android

Brands such as Ubisoft, Square Enix, NCsoft, Fuhu and Sanrio Digital have tapped PlaySpan Inc.’s UltimatePay Mobile, a new virtual currency and micropayments monetization widget for various smartphone platforms.

The initial private beta launch supports HTML5, designed to work on all smartphones running Google’s Android operating system, as well as Nokia phones with WebRuntime installed. PlaySpan’s new UltimatePay product tracks virtual currency balance and provides each user the ability to top-up and view transaction history.

“PlaySpan sees a big opportunity in the monetization space for mobile,” said Vilash Poovala, senior product manager at PlaySpan, Santa Clara, CA. “We see a lot of value in bringing the proven and tested monetization-as-a-service as a platform to mobile developers through this new payment widget.

“The in-game/in-app mobile payments space is heating up rapidly since more and more people are adopting smarphones and also spending more time on their phones,” he said.

“A recent report from Flurry states that 80 percent of revenues for mobile developers in September came from virtual good sales.”

PlaySpan’s global payments product UltimatePay enables more than 90 global payment methods in 180 countries, including credit cards, PayPal, carrier billing and PlaySpan’s pre-paid Ultimate Game Card.

Mobile play and pay
PlaySpan’s monetization platform at launch for HTML5 also provides a payment widget that allows for integration by developers and the ability to set pricing in the widget with a complete PCI Level 1 and SAS-70 compliant platform.

The in-game monetization space is heating up rapidly and a recent report from Flurry finds that in-application revenues are exceeding advertising by a significant four-to-one margin.

With PlaySpan’s mobile payment widget, developers now have access to a micropayments platform that brings a one-click payments experience to mobile users without them ever having to leave the game.

PlaySpan has made several strategic investments in 2010 to help developers realize greater revenue potential from in-application mobile payments.

The company has also formalized several partner announcements in recent weeks with brands such as Ubisoft, Square Enix, NCsoft and Sanrio Digital.

The payment option that will be available in private beta is credit card, since the focus for the monetization widget is on the U.S. only.

“We will be adding PayPal shortly after launch,” Mr. Poovala said. “Mobile payment mechanisms and pre-paid card support will be available early next year as we roll-out our product into other markets.”