Friendster partners on micropayments platform

The site will also offer payment APIs to application developers

Friendster will soon implement a micropayments platform for virtual gifts and games, seeking to bring in new revenue from southeast Asian countries where the social-networking site is popular.

The partnership with MOL AccessPortal Berhad (MOL) will let Friendster's users buy items with a so-called Friendster Wallet that enables payments using prepaid cards, mobile phones and online payments. It can also handle credit cards, although most Asian youths don't have one, according to Friendster.

Along with the Friendster Wallet, the site will begin to offer virtual gifts and games, which have traditionally been popular with Asian users. The U.S. market for virtual goods, however, is expanding and is expected to be about US$1 billion in 2009, according to areport from Prophetic Media released on Wednesday.

Friendster will implement the payments platform first in Malaysia and then in other southeast Asian countries and around the world "within weeks."

Close to 60 percent of Friendster's users are in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, with 8.2 percent coming from the U.S., according to statistics published by Alexa. Friendster says it has 115 million users.

The prepaid cards will be sold in outlets such as 7-Eleven in Malaysia and the Philippines, the mobile phone store Oke Shop in Indonesia, AXS in Singapore and cybercafes in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, Friendster said. The cards have a unique code that puts credit, called Friendster Coins, into the virtual wallet.

Friendster Wallet is compatible with mobile payments from Singtel GX Credits and Indosat iPay. Online payments will be supports from banks such as Maybank, CIMB Bank, RHB Bank, Citibank Singapore, UOB and DBS. American Express, Visa and MasterCard payments can also be processed, the site said.

Similar to other social-networking sites, Friendster is going to offer the payment APIs (application programming interfaces) for Friendster Coins to application developers. MOL's platform will handle the virtual wallet, transaction management, fraud control and integration with other payment services such as PayPal, Friendster said. MOL processes about US$200 million in transactions annually.

The site also plans to implement a kind of "marketing currency" which it calls Friendster Chips, which can be used for incentive or loyalty programs.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags social networkingFriendster

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?