Pay later option for Facebook Credits
In the US, Facebook has widened the reach of its virtual bank by offering the option to “pay later” for its Credits, in the same way that credit card companies do.
The online social media site is testing out a payment option for its Credits that lets users get some of the virtual currency without paying anything up front, opting instead to be billed later.
Select users are being given a ‘Pay Later’ option when they try to acquire Facebook Credits. Facebook displays a negative balance for users who haven’t paid for their Credits, and gives them the option to pay their balance. At this point, there doesn’t appear to be any limit to how big a balance the affected users can rack up.
Presumably that would change if this feature were rolled out more widely. But letting users get a free taste of Credits is smart – getting people to enter credit card information for the first time is the biggest friction point in virtual goods sales. If users get used to spending Credits, they’ll be more likely to pay up to acquire more.
About Facebook Credits
Facebook Credits is a program and virtual currency that users use to buy virtual goods in games and applications on the Facebook Platform. A user receives 10 credits for every dollar that they spend. As the program is still in the beta stage of development, only a select few applications use the system. The program went into its alpha stage in May 2009, and moved into the beta stage in February 2010. Facebook retains 30% of all revenue earned through Credits. The introduction of Credits has led former PayPal executives to comment on whether or not Credits could soon replace PayPal as the leader in virtual payments.
Facebook Credits move into the real world
It has been suggested that if Facebook was a country, it would be the third largest in the world, so it is not surprising that it wants its own currency.
Already, Credits can buy virtual goods from more than 200 applications on the Facebook platform, like special crop seeds or enhanced tractors in the otherwise free-to-play social game FarmVille.
With the selling of Facebook Credit gift cards, it is physical world as well.
In the UK they are being sold by Tesco and Game shops, and in the US, by Safeway Stores. Target, Best Buy and Walmart in the run up to the holiday season.