October 14, 2010, 12:07 PM

Facebook expands the reach of its virtual currency

An agreement with PlaySpan gives consumers more than 20 ways to purchase Facebook Credits.

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Facebook Inc. says it has reached an agreement with PlaySpan, whose technology enables consumers to make payments from within online games, virtual worlds and social networks, to expand the reach of the Facebook Credits virtual currency.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

PlaySpan says in the coming months it will begin providing consumers with 20 more ways to purchase Facebook Credits through its UltimatePay virtual wallet product. Among the new payment providers that consumers will be able to use to purchase Credits are store-bought prepaid cards such as the Netherlands-based Wallie-card and Taiwan-based Gash cards, bank transfers in Germany and the Brazilian online payment card Boleto Bancario.

With the deal the new payment options will appear when consumers click to buy Credits, based on the country or region where they are located.

“This should open up a lot of audiences to our Facebook credit developers,” says Deborah Liu, Facebook’s manager of product marketing for Facebook Credits and Games.

More than 75 developers use Facebook Credits in more than 200 games and applications on the social network. This agreement should spur significant growth in developers using Facebook Credits in the next few months, says a PlaySpan spokesman.

“PlaySpan has been an evangelist of the free-to-play and micro-transaction movement for the last several years and we believe that the Facebook Credits platform will be the catalyst that will take it to the mainstream,” says Karl Mehta, PlaySpan CEO.

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