Slideshow 6 of Nintendo's Innovations in Payments

Published
  • July 15 2016, 10:11am EDT
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Nintendo is known for taking an experimental approach to making video games, and this same mindset carries over to how it handles money. The company's hardware, software and business strategies show a forward-thinking strategy for payment acceptance.

Pokemon Go

As partial owner of The Pokemon Co., Nintendo is reaping the rewards of the Pokemon Go craze while also demonstrating to retailers and banks a means of using mobile technology to drive traffic to their stores and branches. And reportedly, companies will be able to buy sponsorships within the app.

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Contactless Cards

Nintendo's Wii U was the first major home gaming console with a built-in Near Field Communication reader. In 2014, it began using the reader to accept payments from Japan's contactless Suica fare cards.

NFC Training

The Wii U's NFC reader also interacts with a line of toys called "amiibo." Though this is not inherently a payments play, it trains a generation of gamers to understand NFC technology, reducing the hurdle to getting them to use contactless cards or mobile wallets in the future.

Gamified Money

In addition to traditional currencies, Nintendo has a number of virtual currencies. Its handheld 3DS system senses when it's being moved, and it gives players virtual coins if they walk around with it all day. Its newest reward system provides a separate virtual currency for performing certain tasks in its mobile games.

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Haggling

Rusty's Real Deal Baseball, a handheld game released in North America in 2014, takes a very odd approach to payments. Its 10 minigames are priced at $4 each — and yes, this is real money — but players that don't want to pay the full $40 price tag can haggle with the in-game shopkeeper to bring the total cost down to just $16.

Mobile Mindset

Nintendo is working with the mobile gaming company DeNA to develop games for smartphones. Their apps will use the free-to-play smartphone pricing model, betting that its customers will pay it more money through optional low-value in-app purchases.