Earlier in the year, Gareth Davis of Facebook said that the company was “looking at” the creation of a universal currency system for the social platform. Recently, the company started testing its Facebook Credits-based payments system with a few third party application developers on the Facebook Platform.
However, with the success of universal currencies from competitors such as hi5, Facebook also been thinking about ways of internationalizing its virtual currency service more.
As many may know, Facebook currently has a virtual gifts system (a system that has seen significant attention in times past). These gifts, as well as Facebook Ads, can be purchased with Facebook Credits. In the past, buyers could only ever purchase the virtual currency using US dollars. Just this month, however, Facebook has released the ability to pay for the Facebook Credits in 14 different currencies (see below). Seeing as how approximately 70% of Facebook users live outside the United States, this could lead to an increase in Credit purchases from international users.
The exchange rate for the Credits will be, more or less, the same as current international rates. As an example, 10 Credits are worth $1, $0.10 is worth 54 Chilean Pesos, thus 54 CLP would be equal 1 Credit. Additionally, there is no charge for using international currencies so foreign users and developers can use the new system seamlessly for both gifting and advertisement respectively.
Unfortunately, whether or not this will be a great success is yet to be determined. Currently, Credits must be purchased using a credit card, and many foreign countries are primarily cash-based. Nevertheless, it has been reported that mobile payment companies such as Zong and Boku have been working diligently with Facebook app developers to mitigate this issue.
Obviously there are still kinks to work out of the system, but if the focus towards Facebook Credits continues, we might see a truly “universal” Facebook currency a lot sooner than expected.
Foreign Currencies Now Accepted by Facebook for Credit Purchases:
- Australian Dollars (AUD)
- British Pound (GBP)
- Canadian Dollars (CAD)
- Chilean Peso (CLP)
- Colombian Peso (COP)
- Euro (EUR)
- Danish Krone (DKK)
- Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
- Japanese Yen (JPY)
- Norwegian Krone (NOK)
- Swedish Krona (SEK)
- Swiss Fanc (CHF)
- Turkish Lira (TRY)
- Venezuelan Bolivar (VEF)