Online payments company PayPal is preparing to launch new developer tools designed to simplify transactions in social games, as well as a new micropayments feature, next month.
The new tools are meant to provide a streamlined process of buying virtual currencies. "We’re going to have an inline shopping experience where you can authorize a transaction on the screen right there in the game," explained PayPal's VP of Product Development Osama Bedier, according to a report
from Inside Facebook.
Bedier added, "Right now, if I’m playing a game, I have to leave the flow, go to a different web site, authenticate myself, authorize a payment and then come back to the game." The company believes that these steps break up the "flow" of games and deter consumers from buying virtual currencies or goods.
PayPal is also planning to introduce a new micropayments feature allowing users to paying small increments of 50 cents or a dollar when playing an online game, instead of having to spend much larger amounts like $10 to $20 at a time.
"What I expect is to have the experience of ‘I want that virtual tractor!’ then I click on it and it automatically pulls from my account," said Bedier. “It will be like how long-distance phone calls are billed. It gets tallied up and you get billed at some normal interval. It takes all the friction out, allowing you to just enjoy the game."
The firm is currently testing the development tool suite and micropayments with several game companies, and plans to launch them at its Innovate Conference in San Francisco at the end of October.