Social gaming major Zynga, the developer of games like Mafia wars and Farmville will offer new payment options like prepaid game cards, internet banking and mobile payments through premium SMSs to Indian gamers by the first half of 2011, according to the Financial Chronicle. According to the website Zynga has around 270 million monthly users and around 3%-5% pay to progress in their games.

Current Modes Of Payment For Indians On Zynga: Zong And PayMo

Currently, Zynga allows gamers to purchase value-adds like Farm Cash or additional Energy levels using their Credit Cards or PayPal accounts. In India, Zynga allows Indians to pay through a tie-up with virtual goods payment aggregators like Zong and PayMo that allow users to pay for products by deducting the amount from their prepaid phone balance. The information on the Indian market listed on Zong’s website appears to be incorrect; does the marketshare information refer to recharge marketshare?

PayMo works with Airtel, while Zong works with Airtel, Vodafone, BSNL, IDEA, Tata, Aircel, MTNL, Spice, BPL, RTL, and RCOM. The user enters his mobile number and receives a confirmation message as an SMS to which he replies and receives a PIN code which he has to enter on the web site to confirm the payment.

Retail Prepaid Cards In India

Shan Kadavil, Zynga’s Country Manager for India, told FC that the retail cards in particular is an option they’re considering, due to the success of pre-paid recharge cards in India. Pre-paid cards for gaming have been attempted before – by both Reliance ADA Group Zapak and Clearstone Ventures funded Kreeda Games. Naspers/MIH and TenCent owned social networking site Ibibo also introduced microtransactions through telecom operator billing for its social games including ‘the great Indian Parking Wars’. However, there are other licensed prepaid card vendors (many of them listed here) who have created a fairly significant retail outreach in India.

The only markets where Zynga sells game cards are UK, US and Canada. The company launched its Indian operations last year.

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