PayNearMe has just launched a system where cash can be exchanged for Facebook Credits at 7-11 stores around the United States. First, a user decides how many Credits to purchase online, then they print out a receipt, show it to the clerk at a nearby 7-11, and pay cash. The Credits are instantly deposited into the user’s Facebook account. In an effort to test out and spread the word about the system, all users get a 10% bonus in Credits, and if they are the first to buy Credits on that 7-11’s morning, second, or night shift, they get an extra bonus of 50 or 100 Credits.
Note: the system is experiencing problems for some of those using Firefox, looping users back to the credits.paynearme.com landing page when they enter their zip code to find participating 7-11 stores.
PayNearMe’s CEO Danny Shader tells us that the company is not sure how many people would try the service, but it will pay out the Credits bonuses from its $6.3 million in funding from True Ventures, Maveron and others until it hits an undisclosed cap. He says the company isn’t solely focused on social games and virtual goods, but is building a general payment platform. The deal with 7-11 is mutually non-exclusive, and PayNearMe are developing a mobile app so customers can show a digital bar code instead of printing a receipt at home.
PayNearMe follows the trend of offering a credit card-less payment option for Facebook Credits. In exchange for Credits, Rixty allows users to redeem CoinStar change counting kiosk receipts, TrialPay lets users complete offers, and Plastic Jungle takes unwanted gift cards. The difference with other cash-for-redeemable-credit systems is that PayNearMe is tied into retail location payment terminals, meaning the Credits are deposited in real-time, providing a more satisfying user experience.