MOUNTAIN VIEW - February 4, 2010
Kwedit, Inc. ( www.kwedit.com), an innovative provider of alternative payment systems, today announced the launch of Kwedit Direct and Kwedit Promise, two new services for the tens of millions of consumers who have been unable to purchase digital content or virtual goods because they lack credit or debit cards or would prefer to pay with cash.
Groundbreaking Kwedit Promise enables consumers to receive goods immediately in exchange for Promises to “Play Now. Pay Later.” Kwedit Promises can be paid off using any of the mechanisms provided by Kwedit Direct.
Kwedit Direct allows consumers to make payments at participating retail stores— starting with 5,800 7-Eleven stores in the United States— or by mailing cash or asking a friend or family member to pay on their behalf through a unique social payment network called Pass the Duck.™
Kwedit is available today on more than 100 popular online destinations, including FooPets and PuzzlePirates, via partnerships with publishers and payment aggregators. Kwedit’s services allow consumers to participate in the rapidly growing market for digital content and virtual goods. U.S. virtual goods sales reached $1B in 2009 and are projected to grow to $1.6B in 2010, according to InsideVirtualGoods.com. These estimates do not include game subscriptions, music purchases, digital downloads, and other forms of digital content that can also be served by Kwedit.
“Most teenagers and the 25% of American households that do not have a credit or debit card— or who would prefer not to use them online because of concerns over privacy, security, or financial responsibility— have been locked out of the exploding virtual goods markets,” says Danny Shader, CEO of Kwedit. “With Kwedit, those consumers can safely participate in the digital content revolution, growing the market for publishers and retailers such as 7-Eleven.”
Cutting Edge Payment Solutions Broaden Gaming Market
Kwedit Promise enables consumers to obtain virtual goods immediately in exchange for Promises to pay for them later without using plastic. Consumers can Play Now. Pay Later. by making Promises up to a Kwedit Limit, a spending limit established by publishers and modified by consumers’ Kwedit Scores. Kwedit Scores are similar in concept to FICO scores, in that they reflect consumers’ previous, timely payoff of Promises. Kwedit Scores rise with on-time payments, allowing responsible consumers to use more Kwedit.
Kwedit Scores are unique to Kwedit Promise and have no real-world implications. As a result, beyond allowing consumers to Play Now. Pay Later., Kwedit Promise provides a safe environment in which consumers can learn about and develop financial literacy.
Kwedit Direct enables consumers to pay back their Promises or complete transactions directly by using one of the following payment methods:
• Kwedit Slip: Consumers can print a Kwedit Slip featuring a barcode that can be scanned at the register of a participating retailer. Kwedit Slips also allow retailers to deliver coupons and other promotions to consumers.
• Kwedit Mailer: Consumers who may not live near a participating retailer can print USPS-approved Business Reply Mailers that they fold around U.S. paper currency and send to Kwedit’s processing facility.
• “Pass the Duck”: Consumers can ask a friend or relative to pay on their behalf using Kwedit’s Pass the Duck social payment network. When recipients of Pass The Duck invitations agree to pay on another’s behalf, they can do so with a Kwedit Slip, Kwedit Mailer, credit or debit card, or by Passing the Duck to someone else. Parents can even monitor their teens’ spending using Pass The Duck.
Watch a demonstration here about how easy it is to use Kwedit.
Kwedit Helps Publishers and Retailers Convert More Players into Paying Customers
Kwedit is available today on more than 100 games, with plans for adding more publishers in the coming months. Kwedit Direct is also a featured payment method through Social Gold, an industry-leading virtual economy platform that powers the virtual currency and payment solutions for thousands of online games and virtual worlds.
"Kwedit gives online gaming publishers the ability to tap into the U.S. customer base through convenient cash-based payments solutions," said Vikas Gupta, founder and CEO of Social Gold. “It’s an ideal partner for Social Gold because together we can provide a seamless payment experience for the end user."
Kwedit is developing relationships with retail partners that have a physical presence, the first being a nationwide partnership with 7-Eleven (see separate release for details). Such partnerships create convenient payment outlets for consumers while generating more foot traffic and potential buyers for Kwedit’s retail partners.
Kwedit Direct and Kwedit Promise are now available to the public through all partner sites and 7-Eleven stores. To get started with Kwedit, please visit www.kwedit.com.
About Kwedit, Inc.
Kwedit, Inc. is an innovative provider of alternative payment systems that let consumers Play Now. Pay Later.™ Kwedit Direct enables consumers to conveniently pay for goods and services at participating retail stores such as 7-Eleven, by mailing cash, or by asking a friend or family to pay for them. When consumers use Kwedit Promise, they receive digital content and virtual goods in exchange for Promises to pay later, using Kwedit Direct. Kwedit Promise and Kwedit Direct are powered by the patents-pending Kwedit Payment Network. For more information, visit www.kwedit.com.
About Social Gold
Social Gold™ is an industry-leading virtual economy platform owned and operated by Jambool, Inc. The Social Gold platform enables developers to create and manage their own white-labeled virtual currency, provide an unparalleled payments experience to their users, and optimize their virtual economy using robust analytics. Through innovation in Flash-based payments solutions, a sophisticated fraud management system and an easy-to-integrate API, Social Gold has received recognition as an outstanding platform for managing virtual economies. Jambool, Inc. was co-founded by Amazon.com veterans Vikas Gupta and Reza Hussein, and has offices in San Francisco, Seattle and Singapore. For more information, please visit http://getsocialgold.com.
Stephanie Gnibus, GMK Communications for Kwedit
Kate Pietrelli, TriplePoint