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PayPal announces new microtransaction service

Works in-game, takes 5% of sub-$12 purchases; Facebook confirms plans to use it

eBay's payment wing PayPal has announced a new service dedicated to the purchase of virtual goods.

The microtransaction system will use existing PayPal logins, but enables in-game and in-site payments with minimal clicks and without leaving the host application or page. Mobile devices will also be supported.

Paypal's fees for the service are 5 per cent plus 5 cents, so long as the transaction comes in at under $12.

The service will be deployed on Facebook, confirmed the social network's COO, Sheryl Sandberg.

"The decision to purchase digital goods and content usually happens on impulse, so the act of paying needs to be as quick as that impulse," said Sam Shrauger, PayPal's vice president of global product strategy.

"PayPal for digital goods is an ideal solution for game developers, newspapers, bloggers, media companies, and anyone who is looking to monetize premium digital content around the globe."

PayPal already boasts 90 million accounts worldwide, and last year processed over $2 billion in payments.

More details on the digital goods service, which is billed as "coming soon", are available here.

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Alec Meer


A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.