Wednesday, February 03, 2010

A New Way to Pay

If you're ten years old, you can't use your own credit card to buy dog food at the local store. But now you can buy digital dog food for a online pet in much the same manner - using Kwedit. As reported in The New York Times, a new payment option has just become available to anyone, no matter how young they are. In the new system, a "Kwedit Promise" is used to buy items in games by FooPets and Puzzle Pirates. The items can be paid off later using a regular credit or debit card; with cash sent in a provided mailer; or by printing a barcode, taking it to your local 7-Eleven, and paying cash there.

FooPets, which has over a million active members and signs up 20,000 to 25,000 new members each day, lets users adopt lifelike digitally animated pets and then buy virtual goods for them - everything from a bag of puppy chow for $3 to a bungalow for $333 - using Kwedit. "Buy now, pay later" is always a seductive marketing tool. Users are encouraged to pay the actual funds they owe by the fact that they accrue a Kwedit score, similar to a regular credit score, and more Kwedit is extended to each user based on his or her history of repayment. But since the marginal cost of virtual goods is negligible, there's no serious risk of major financial loss if the promise is not repaid.

Like FooPets and similar systems - considered "nurturing games" that encourage responsibility and other adult lessons - Kwedit is a way to introduce young people to important ideas in a relatively safe environment.

You can build a stronger business by applying the "nurturing games" concept to your customer service.

No comments: