7-Eleven Inc., the world’s largest convenience store chain, and Kwedit Inc., a provider of alternative payment systems, are making it easier for millions of online gamers to buy virtual goods in a game-changing “Play Now. Pay Later.” plan, announced today.
Americans who do not have credit or debit cards or who prefer to pay with cash can now safely and conveniently pay for digital content and virtual goods using Kwedit at more than 5,800 7-Eleven stores across the U.S. As a result of this relationship, consumers of online entertainment can make payments at 7-Eleven stores using both Kwedit Direct and Kwedit Promise, two services provided by Kwedit.
“7-Eleven and Kwedit are ready to serve millions of Americans who would like to purchase digital content and virtual goods but were unable until today,” said Joe DePinto, CEO of 7-Eleven. “This new and innovative Kwedit Payment Network supports 7-Eleven’s strategy of offering a broad range of services for consumers who pay with cash or do not have a credit or debit card.”
Kwedit Direct creates Kwedit Slips-paper “invoices” – that consumers print and bring to participating 7-Eleven stores where Kwedit Slips are scanned and payment is accepted at the register. Kwedit transactions are as fast and convenient as buying chips or a Slurpee beverage.
Kwedit Promise allows consumers to “Play Now. Pay Later.” If they want to enhance their game experience, customers not using plastic or Pay Pal no longer have to stop playing just to purchase a prepaid gaming card or get someone else to buy a virtual item for them. With Kwedit Promise, consumers can instead receive digital content and virtual goods from online publishers in exchange for Promises to pay later. Starting today, consumers can conveniently pay off their Kwedit Promises using Kwedit Slips at their local 7-Eleven store.
In addition to facilitating payments, Kwedit Slips can deliver valuable, targeted promotions that consumers can use when they visit their neighborhood 7-Eleven store. In the near future, Kwedit Slips will also be rendered and scanned from consumers’ smartphones, providing even greater convenience.
The markets that 7-Eleven and Kwedit will serve with these new products are large and growing: U.S. virtual goods sales reached $1B in 2009 and are projected to grow to $1.6B in 2010, according to InsideVirtualGoods.com. These projections do not include game subscriptions, music purchases, digital downloads and other forms of digital content that can also be served by 7-Eleven and Kwedit.
“The combination of 7-Eleven and Kwedit opens up the world of virtual goods to additional consumers who were previously excluded from this exciting market,” said Charles Hudson, co-author of the report “The Future of Social Gaming 2010.”
“Offering the convenience of 7-Eleven to online consumers is a key component of Kwedit,” said Danny Shader, CEO of Kwedit Inc. “7-Eleven’s thousands of locations, trusted brand and reputation for being first-to-market with innovative products and services make it an ideal partner for Kwedit. We look forward to jointly working with 7-Eleven to provide access to even more products and services for consumers.”