Visa acquires digital transaction platform provider PlaySpan
Payment and credit solutions giant Visa will acquire monetization platform provider PlaySpan, a move to accelerate its expansion into the digital and mobile commerce segments. Visa will pay approximately $190 million in cash, with additional consideration based on performance milestones--the PlaySpan acquisition is expected to close during Visa's fiscal Q2 2011. PlaySpan's monetization-as-a-service platform enables merchants to sell digital media and mobile content leveraging a range of payment and commerce-related solutions as well as fraud and risk management, analytics, merchandizing and global payment connectivity tools. PlaySpan supports sales of items like game credits, premium memberships and virtual goods--in all, its platform enables over 85 global payment methods in 180 countries.
In November 2010, PlaySpan introduced UltimatePay Mobile, a virtual currency and micropayments widget enabling in-app purchases across Android smartphones as well as Nokia devices incorporating the Web Runtime software framework. According to PlaySpan, UltimatePay Mobile supports HTML5, promising easy integration--developers can leverage a complete PCI Level 1 and SAS-70 Compliant platform to set pricing within the widget, while consumers can track their virtual currency balance, top-up their accounts and view transaction histories.
Based on a sample study comprising leading iPhone social networking apps and social games reaching an estimated 2.2 million daily active users, in-app sales of virtual goods now account for about 80 percent of developers' average monthly revenue per user, according to data published in late 2010 by mobile application analytics provider Flurry. As recently as September 2009, micro-transactions represented only about 15 percent of monthly app ARPU.
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