As Developers Continue Adopting Credits, Facebook Tests Out New Payment Flow

Last week, Facebook officially announced that Zynga, the largest developer on the platform, was going to make Credits the exclusive virtual currency for all of its games — although most of those titles had already made the switch, as we examined then.

The Credits rollout is continuing quickly, though, and here are a few more updates on what’s happening.

The first is that most top social games on Facebook have already integrated Credits in some form — illustrating both the impact of Zynga’s Credits adoption, and the reach of Credits among other developers. Out of the top 100 titles we looked at from our AppData charts, 60 are using Credits at least as a payment option, and 33 are using the virtual currency exclusively. For more, check out our detailed write-up over on Inside Social Games.

The second point that Zynga is still using third-party offers and game card services. Expect those monetization services to change over to Credits, as well. Facebook has been developing equivalent services as part of Credits, that it will have Zynga and other developers use. For offers, it has partnered with Trialpay to provide offers from Groupon and a wide variety of other advertisers (incidentally, we’ve continued to hear rumors that Facebook is looking to buy Trialpay, which the companies have said are not true). For game cards and other retail options, it has begun selling its own version at Target, and running other in-store promotions through PayNearMe.

The third point is that Facebook is trying out new payment flows to make the process easier for users. We noted a flow last week that had users buy in-game currency, like Farm Cash in Zynga’s FarmVille, without any indication that their payments were going through Facebook. Today, the interface shows users a more streamlined view. If you have Credits, there’s now a check-box that asks if you’d like to apply part or all of your balance to the purchase. If you want to pay without using Credits, or if you don’t have any Credits, you can instead pay directly through Facebook. A link at the bottom right of the interface shows your current payment method (Discover, Visa, etc.) in parentheses, and if you click, you’ll see a menu letting you select other direct payment options. This interface change is intended to make it obvious that they’re buying the in-game virtual currency whether or not they want to use their Credits account to do so, while still directing them to use their Credits balance.