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BizReport : Advertising archives : April 13, 2010

Offerpal expands alt-payments for global audience

Gamers have another option for continuing play, earning social gaming points or buying products. Virtual currency hub Offerpal has expanded their payment platform to include alternative payment options for a global audience. The alt-payments include phone cards, e-payment systems, pre-paid debit cards and parent-approved payments.

by Kristina Knight

"Our vision is to help developers monetize larger portions of their user bases, whether through alternative payment options like offers, videos and surveys, or cash payment methods such as credit cards and all their substitutes," said George Garrick, Chairman and CEO of Offerpal Media. "There's a lot of innovation in the online payment space at the moment, with all sorts of new payment products that enable developers to monetize distinct sets of users based on geography, demographics and behavior types."

Just how important are alternative payment options to the growing gaming audience? An Offerpal/comScore study earlier this year showed that more than half of online gamers were 'very likely' to complete a survey, watch a video, shop with a retailer or opt-in to a subscription in exchange for points. The points could then be used in their social networking games. Only about 22% were willing to purchase those same points using a personal paypal account, credit card or mobile account.

The online gaming trend in China puts a bit of a microscope to the global gaming phenomena. According to a Niko Partners report the online gaming market is predicted to jump to more than $9 billion by 2014; that is more than double 2009 revenue numbers of $3.57 billion. The number of people playing games is also expected to skyrocket. More than 140 million Chinese consumers are expected to be playing games by 2014 compared to the 68 million who played online games in 2009.

By readying for growth, such as that forecasted for Chinese gamers, by considering alternative payments, virtual goods and virtual currency game developers, platforms and social hubs will be better equipped to engage the vast base of game players. Many games have no problem using personal cash, credit cards or other means to further their game playing but an increasing number of consumers wants to keep their private information private and will not use credit cards, banking information or other 'named' accounts for their game playing.

Tags: alternate payment, game advertising, Offerpal Media, online advertising, virtual currency, virtual goods

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