Google buys online currency management company Jambool

Jambool has a platform that helps developers manage virtual economies

Google has bought Jambool, a company that makes a platform for managing online payments for virtual goods sold on gaming and social networking sites.

Jambool made the announcement on Friday on its Web site. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The company develops Social Gold, which can be used for managing virtual currency or processing payments within applications for websites such as Facebook.

In a statement, Google said "we are committed to offering consumers and merchants innovative digital payment solutions, and Jambool will help Google evolve our payments offering and expand into digital goods and content."

The Social Gold platform was launched in 2008, and Jambool wrote that they processed more than double the payment value in the first half of 2010 than they did in all of 2009.

"We've welcomed hundreds of developers to our platform," according to the post. "The fact that our highest revenue day was in the last week attests to the continued growth of online gaming."

The company says it has the only platform with an API (application programming interface) that can manage purchases done in a Flash-based game during game play and even for first-time users who do not have their details yet on record. Jambool charges 10 percent per transaction, but that fee goes down to 7 percent if a client is processing at least US$25,000 per month.

Jambool said Social Gold is PCI (Payment Card Industry) Security Standards Council Level 1 compliant, the highest rating. The company said it uses a "combination of algorithmic detection, analytics and human verification to control and manage fraud."

Jambool published a set of questions and answers for its customers about how they may be affected by the acquisition.

"We are thrilled to be part of Google, and we look forward to the exciting road ahead," the company said.

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