Carrier-integrated mobile payment provider BilltoMobile will handle payments for NCSOFT Corp.’s online games in North America.
NCSOFT, which is based in Seoul, South Korea, already uses BilltoMobile for its Korean operations, and will extend that relationship to include North American gaming programs Aion and Lineage II.
NCSOFT publishes and develops multiplayer online games, including the popular Guild Wars 2, and has operations in North America, Europe, South America and Australia/New Zealand. The games use a virtual currency called NCoins, which can be bought using BilltoMobile by entering a mobile phone number to receive a PIN to complete the purchase.
"Not everybody has or wants to use a credit card for online games, but most people have a mobile device," said Richard Zinser, senior vice president of technology and online operations for NCSOFT, in a press release. "And that’s why the BilltoMobile service appealed to us. Companies can no longer offer customers a singular path to purchase in-game items."
BilltoMobile, the U.S. subsidiary of Danal—a global e-commerce mobile payments provider—works with carriers such as Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint. When shoppers pay by using BilltoMobile, the charge appears on their next mobile phone bill.
"This partnership between NCSOFT and BilltoMobile demonstrates the natural fit of mobile payments in a fast-paced environment found within the online gaming industry," said Jim Greenwell, president and CEO of BilltoMobile, in a release.
Virtual currencies are common in gaming, both as virtual gold earned by players to purchase items within games and as a substitute for real money when purchasing new games or add-on content. Virtual currencies such as Microsoft Points, which are used to buy Xbox games, are often sold on cards in retail stores, much like prepaid cards.