Thursday, August 25, 2011

Zynga expands its game cards to distributors in Europe and Turkey

Zynga‘s quest is to get the whole world to play social games. To make that happen, the company has to set up payment mechanisms in countries where credit cards aren’t the norm. So the company is announcing today that it has cut deals to distribute its prepaid Zynga Game Cards in Europe and Turkey.

In Europe, the epay division of Euronet Worldwide will distribute the Zynga prepaid cards in 18 countries across Europe. Zynga’s games are free-to–play, where users can play for free and pay real money to buy virtual goods. The Zynga game card allows users to buy a prepaid card that they can use in electronic transactions. The users can buy the cards through epay’s cash load network (a network of 276,000 retail and 588,000 kiosk locations). Zynga has more than 265 million monthly active users on Facebook.

The epay retailers across Europe can offer consumers an in-store bonus of a free virtual item with the game card redemption. The cards will be available in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Croatia.

Meanwhile, Zynga is also offering prepaid cards in Turkey through the leading mobile payment provider in Turkey, Mikro ?deme. That deal marks the first time that Zynga Game Cards will be available in Turkey, which is one of the fastest-growing game markets. Users can pay Turkish Lira for the cards in small currency amounts. Consumers can also bill their mobile phones via the services of TurkCell and Turk Telekom.

Mikro Odeme was founded in 2008 as a mobile payment aggregator. Last month, Zynga also struck a deal with Gate2Play to distribute game cards in the Middle East and North Africa, and Zynga is using Mentez to distribute cards in Latin America. Zynga now has 12 games in 50 countries and game card distribution deals with nine partners.

Clearly, at some point, Zynga is going to be the world’s universal currency.

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