Holding onto user credit info.

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by lennard, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I haven't used the app store in several weeks but as I recall, when I want something in the app. store I just hit the "give 'em .99 cents button" and it remembers my cc info and gives me the game.

    Are there any payment processors that can make this kind of system work? I'm looking for a micro-payment system that doesn't take a minimum $ amount per transaction so I could go really low. Any ideas how to accomplish this?
     
  2. Jack Norton

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    http://www.jambool.com/
    looks promising, was just bought by Google.

    I think Plimus, BMT & Co. are really leaving money on the table by not offering similar services.
     
  3. cliffski

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    I agree, but it is one-click ordering that really seals the deal, not the micro-payments thing.
    Still, years later, none of them support the amazon payments system, and still, years later, steam kicks their asses in terms of revenue share.
     
  4. Jack Norton

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    Well I think it's a combination of both: example, you offer a player a new ship / weapon type on GSB for only $0.99 and with one click, hop they buy it from the game itself (like with many iphone or flash games).

    For other normal purchases (like one time $19.99) is normal to quit and click on buy. At least BMT remembers your info, so once you buy the first time, you can then just login and click on buy, it's not too bad. Could be better, of course :)

    It's fun because there was a vendor (which I originally used), eSellerate, that had his own in-game purchase option. But they had an insane fee scheme (so the more you made, the more you paid!) so that basically is now unknown (I don't know anyone who uses it).
     
  5. CasualInsider

    CasualInsider New Member

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    You can do this with PayPal. Users can authorize you to charge them directly.

    Charge your users for a virtual currency in bulk and use that instead.
     
  6. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Casual Insider, I've thought of a coin system but, as a user, it would turn me off. As a user, if I'm playing a game and I just have to click a button for 20 cents to be placed on my credit card and I trust that it's safe then thats a no brainer.

    Having to buy a bunch of coins just stresses me out because then I have another thing to keep track of. I (the user) already own a bunch of coins and would prefer just to use them rather than buying Rusty Axe Gold or whatever I decide to call my coin system. As a user it's a turn off that I would prefer to avoid. I'll look at the PayPal API but if anybody else has any ideas I would love to hear them. Anybody have any experience with Super Rewards? I recall they charge 20% which is more than I'm used to paying for payment processing.
     
  7. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Jack, Jambool does look like it's worth the time to invest in trying out their API. They solve my problem and charge 10% regardless of how small the transaction amount. As I get into it (after next week when we drive back across the country...) in early September I'll try and remember to post info. back here about my experience.
     
  8. andrew

    andrew New Member

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    I'm using Social Gold and it works quite well, at least in Flash. It does remember CC info so it becomes essentially one-click after the second purchase (if they keep that 'remember my info' box checked)

    I still think coins can be valuable, because a) you get users to spend more money on bigger batches (and potentially overspend), and b) you can still debit an in-game currency purchase way faster than going through the CC authorization process

    - andrew
     
  9. Maupin

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    Same here. No way I'm feeding a $5 bill into a token exchange machine if I only want to buy a one token/25 cents piece of gum at the concession stand.
     
  10. Jack Norton

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    Yes but you two (maupin & lennard) think as developers. You need to think as businessmen... those social games (or MMO in general) often try to exploit people's weaknesses and cheat any way possible (and don't tell me that isn't that way!!).
    As player, thinking to spend so much money on a MMO seems totally idiot. Yet, as businessmen is probably one of the best way to make lot of money...:rolleyes:
     
  11. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    My first foray into this market segment is going to be with a game that can either be purchased with a monthly or yearly game pass for all you can eat. I would also like to offer an arcade mode where you can spend a small amount and get a single game - making people buy $5 worth of coins accomplishes the same as a game pass so a single, small charge for a single game is the only additional thing that makes sense. My game takes place over the course of a few days/weeks so I believe that a 25 cent charge is going to make sense for some players who, for whatever reason, aren't ready to commit to a game pass.
     
  12. cliffski

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    If I can get someone to spend $10, I'll sell them a $10 game. Getting them to spend $10, for me to get $1, and then have to get them to buy another 9 things later seems like harder work to me.

    Electronic currency purchases are effectively free. Banks are just acting as bad as telecoms companies who try and charge you for individual calls. It'll all be seen as insane in 20 years time.
     
  13. Chris Evans

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    I just switched away from them.

    They have a pretty cool Flash API (I didn't use it though), but their reporting system is very poor.

    For example, you can't view individual transactions so you have no way of knowing if the user was awarded game credits from filling out a survey, using their credit card, or paying with their mobile phone. All you see is the net revenue you've earned for the day.

    And their report which shows the top payment methods/surveys doesn't list any numerical data. It's just a vague list like this:
    Direct Payments
    Lip-Gloss Survey
    Teen People Survey
    and etc.

    I guess if you're running a Facebook game and you don't really care about those details then SuperRewards is a decent All-In-One solution since it provides mobile, CC, free offers, surveys, and a variety of payment methods. But with so many options, their buy page can be overwhelming and convoluted.

    And to further add to the confusion, the payment schedule is confusing and vague. They do pay twice a month, which sounds great at first (which originally helped convince me to sign up). But they pay in net 30, net 60, or net 90 terms depending on the individual advertiser or payment method of each individual transaction. So if you make $50 in one day, there's no telling when you'll actually receive all of it. If some of it is from CC orders, it could be next month, but if others are from free offers or mobile payments, you might not see the rest until over 3 months later. And since their reporting is so vague, you're totally in the dark about the composition of the revenue and therefore the true payment schedule.

    I tried them out for a little over a month and then I wrote to them about the above problems. They said they're working on improving their reporting. That's good but I'm just surprised they've been around this long with such vague reporting.

    Also, if you have payment options that don't necessarily revolve around virtual coins, then you're going to struggle using SuperRewards and similar programs. For example, I tried getting a membership payment to work with their system and it was a nightmare.

    That said, if you're working on a Flash game, which exclusively uses virtual coins, you may want to check out SuperRewards and similar programs. From the demo I saw, they do have a nice in-game Flash API. If they can fix their reporting, they might be good for FB social/virtual coin type games. But I wouldn't recommend them for traditional games.
     
  14. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Thanks for that Chris. At first blush Jambool/Social Gold really looks like it nails it. I've got a few other things to contend with first but I will report back (probably October time frame) when I've had a chance to get into it.
     
  15. princec

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    The workaround I thought of to this is just to give people $20 worth of virtual coins when they register. After they've spent them all send them a button to buy another $20 worth.

    Cas :)
     
  16. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Cas, I've thought about the same thing but would like the pay per game mode as well. One handy thing about giving them a mittful of coins right from the get go is that you can also give them a mittful if they introduce their friends and those friends join up as well.
     
  17. CasualInsider

    CasualInsider New Member

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    I think this is a bit relevant: http://www.edery.org/2010/08/debating-f2p-monetization/

    Having people buy virtual currency in bulk is a better system if you want to make money (making $20 at once or $0.20 at once). I think most people don't mind it especially if they are given options to buy as much as they want and get a bonus for buying more at a time. As a gamer, I think the games I've been interested in I had no problem buying currency in bulk. I think putting a price tag of real money of every little thing would worsen your conversion rates. It's easier for people to spend make believe money than to spend real money.

    Also with using real money for individual micro payments I think it would cause confusion as far as ownership with some people as they pay for a Axe of +1 for $0.30 and to them they own that. I guess it's up to you to make sure people understand that they are only licensing that Axe of +1. :)
     
  18. berserker

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    We've been using SuperRewards for almost a year now and I can tell they are quite good payment processor and their support is quite helpful. I dont remember RegNow or other payment processor we used have dedicated manager that is accessible via email or IM that always monitors your performance, inquires about your experience, gives tips.

    Despite some drawbacks mentioned above, quite positive experience.
     

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