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josh1billion

Microtransactions for Facebook games - payment services

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Hi all,

I'm currently working on an online, multiplayer Facebook game, and it's well on its way to a playable state. The client is written in ActionScript 2.0 (yes, 2.0.. but it's the version with which I'm most familiar, and I have tight time constraints to work with).

At some point in the coming weeks, I'll need to start implementing microtransactions, as that is the business model I've been planning all along. Microtransactions will include both unlockable features and consumable items, mostly about $1 or $2 each, with a few around $5. Lately, I've been researching payment-handling services for said microtransactions. There are a few options here, each with advantages and disadvantages:

Social Gold
Advantages: Low fees (10% of transactions, no base fee, but given credit card fees, I have to wonder whether the player's purchase has a minimum dollar amount attached somewhere in the process). Possibly able to integrate most if it into the Flash app itself.
Disadvantages: Integration into the Flash app itself may only be for AS 3.0 games (the documentation implies so but isn't 100% clear)

Mochi Coins
Advantages: Integration into the Flash app itself.
Disadvantages: High fees (one source says 30%, one says 40%.. not sure which is accurate, but either way, yikes!!). Seems to require player registration on Mochi Media before payment can be made, but I'm not sure.

Facebook tokens
Advantages: Players would be more trusting of the service, given that it's run by Facebook.
Disadvantages: High fees (30% of transactions). Currently in closed beta, with little chance of getting in unless you're a big name like Zynga (which I'm not, obviously). Even then, it'd only be possible to get into the program after the game is launched, because the application requires the Facebook company to review each game on an individual basis.

PayPal - integrating directly
Advantages: I'm experienced with PayPal integration, so it'd be a quick and easy process for me. Also, PayPal is very well-known and highly trusted by consumers.
Disadvantages: High fees -- the $0.30 base fee (plus 2.9% of the transaction) could end up being a fairly high percentage in the end, considering most transactions will be $1 to $2.. some will be $5 or so, though, so perhaps it'd work out, especially if I were to implement a virtual currency system?

Authorize.net - integrating directly
Advantages: Lots of customization options, and I have some experience in integrating it.
Disadvantages: High fees - a monthly fee of ~$30 is required as a base operating expense. Also, players would be passing their credit card information to me directly (to be passed onto Authorize.net), which they would certainly feel uneasy about, so this option is pretty much out of the question for an indie developer.

Bottom line...
My question for you all today is this: which of the services do you think would suit my game's needs most effectively (and be likely to produce higher conversion ratios)? I'm mainly gearing this question toward people who have used such services in the past, but if you've done your research, feel free to chime in.

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PayPal offers a micro transactions option, which charges you $0.05 + 5% (which is cheaper for small transactions).

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PayPal offers a micro transactions option, which charges you $0.05 + 5% (which is cheaper for small transactions).


Oh nice! I didn't know that. Thanks for the heads-up, I think I'll use that.

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