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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Legislative outlook:
Some clouds but no rain

Patti Murphy
The Takoma Group

News

Industry Update

New fees, more money for Visa, MasterCard

RBS, Heartland PCI compliance revoked: What's next?

A token of payments to come

Raising the ACH bar

Virtucard for virtual goods

Features

AgenTalkSM:
Bill Pirtle

ISOMetrics:
Breaches across America
installment two

Selling Prepaid

Prepaid in brief

Boom time for prepaid game card market

Global payroll done with SaaS

The state of escheatment

Views

Be the toast of hosts

Scott Henry
VeriFone

Sluggish economy spurs faster payments

Nasreen Quibria
Association for Financial Professionals

Mobile payments? Not yet

Biff Matthews
CardWare International

Education

Street SmartsSM:
Who are you?

Jon Perry and Vanessa Lang
888QuikRate.com

Pull back the expense curtain

Jeff Fortney
Clearent LLC

Downshifting to rev up sales

Christian Murray
Global eTelecom Inc.

PCI versus tricky technology

Michael Wright
Panoptic Security Inc.

Five magical questions in making sales

Daniel Wadleigh
Marketing Consultant

Company Profile

UseMyBank Services Inc.

Data Delivery Services Inc.

New Products

Instant mobile processing

MerchantWare Mobile
Company: Merchant Warehouse

A most literate check reader

CheckUltra
Company: Parascript LLC

Inspiration

See it, believe it

Departments

Forum

Resource Guide

Datebook

A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

April 13, 2009  •  Issue 09:04:01

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SP
Boom time for prepaid game card market

Just as moviegoers see value in handing over $10 per person to experience make believe worlds in films, online gamers see value in loading real-world money onto game cards to enhance their online characters' experiences in virtual gaming realms. Prepaid card distributor InComm is capitalizing on this growing phenomenon.

The Atlanta-based company reported nearly 200 percent growth in game card sales in 2008 over the previous year. Brian Parlotto, Senior Vice President of Products and International Sales at Incomm, attributed the increase to its channel distribution strategies.

"We'll continue to see aggressive growth numbers due to the fact that we continue to add new retailers and partners in this space," he said. "We have a lot of runway in front of us."

Lift off

InComm distributes cards from over 60 online gaming companies to more than 145,000 retail locations, such as big-box and convenience stores. Parlotto said additional growth will come in new merchandising tactics at retail locations and new product assortments InComm expects to add to its current lineup in the coming months.

Nexon Corp., one of InComm's gaming partners, launched a promotion on fountain drink cups at a major convenience store chain, Parlotto said. Nexon marketed its virtual worlds on the cups and offered free trial codes (for in-game time) on the bottoms of the cups to lure in new gamers. Parlotto said that in the last six months Nexon and the convenience store experienced "significant lift" from the promotion.

"In some cases, partners have decided to put bonus content on the higher denominational products to drive consumers to buy that higher denomination," Parlotto said. "It's really interesting to see how that dynamic happens." Additionally, product placement within stores is an area in which Parlotto sees improvement. Recognizing the potential of game cards, retailers will set aside store space for digital content alone, he said. Game cards, along with cards for digital music downloads, for example, will occupy their own sections, akin to video or music sections.

The main purchasers of game cards are teenagers and young adults, Parlotto said. Therefore, the types of stores young consumers gravitate toward have been the most successful in selling the cards. One of InComm's partners relayed to Parlotto that game cards in convenience stores have become popular because such stores are hangouts where youths buy food and drinks after school.

Of the retail environments InComm has targeted for game cards, grocery stores have been the least successful, Parlotto said. He thinks it is directly related to who primarily shops there - adults, not teenagers.

Upward trajectory

In its 2007 prepaid card benchmark study, Mercator Advisory Group touted the digital media category, which includes music downloads, ring tones and game cards, as one of the fastest growing prepaid card segments. While Mercator found load volumes for other segments slowed down in 2007, the digital media category experienced an increase, up from 37 percent growth in 2006 to 39 percent a year later.

Mercator predicts the digital media market will almost double in three years, reaching nearly $9 billion by 2011. "In general, gaming is surpassing prerecorded video [DVDs]," Parlotto said. "This should lead us to a very nice spot with our retail partners and gaming partners in the next three to four years."

Parlotto recognizes the synergy created between retailers and gaming companies. Through game cards, retailers become part of the value chain in online gaming, he said. And through the retail channel, online game developers are given another way to reach their core audience and expand their number of users.

"It allows for our product partners to interact with our retailers and be able to really develop a program that they didn't have the opportunity to do in the past," Parlotto said. "And the retailers never had gaming as a category as it relates to virtual worlds."


For more stories from SellingPrepaid E-Magazine, as well as breaking news and forums devoted to the prepaid sphere, please visit SellingPrePaid.com.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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