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DALLAS -- 7-Eleven Inc., the world's largest convenience store chain, and Kwedit Inc., a provider of alternative payment systems, partnered to make it easier for millions of online gamers to buy virtual goods with a game-changing "Play Now. Pay Later" plan.
Americans who do not have credit or debit cards, or who prefer to pay with cash, can now safely and conveniently pay for digital content and virtual goods using Kwedit at more than 5,800 7-Eleven convenience stores across the United States, the companies announced yesterday.
Consumers of online entertainment can make payments at 7-Eleven stores using both Kwedit Direct and Kwedit Promise -- two services provided by Kwedit.
Kwedit Direct creates Kwedit Slips -- paper "invoices" that consumers print and bring to participating 7-Eleven stores where they are scanned and payment is accepted at the register. Kwedit Promise allows consumers to "Play Now. Pay Later." Customers not using plastic or PayPal no longer have to stop playing just to purchase a prepaid gaming card or get someone else to buy a virtual item for them. With Kwedit Promise, a consumer can instead receive digital content and virtual goods from online publishers in exchange for promises to pay later. That consumer can then conveniently pay off their Kwedit Promises using Kwedit Slips at their local 7-Eleven stores.
In addition to facilitating payments, Kwedit Slips can deliver valuable, targeted promotions that consumers can use when they visit their neighborhood 7-Eleven store. In the near future, Kwedit Slips also will be rendered and scanned from consumers' smartphones, providing even greater convenience, the companies noted.
The markets that 7-Eleven and Kwedit will serve with these new products are large and growing: U.S. virtual goods sales reached $1 billion in 2009 and are projected to grow to $1.6 billion in 2010, according to InsideVirtualGoods.com. These projections do not include game subscriptions, music purchases, digital downloads and other forms of digital content that can also be served by 7-Eleven and Kwedit, the companies said.
"7-Eleven and Kwedit are ready to serve millions of Americans who would like to purchase digital content and virtual goods but were unable until today," Joe DePinto, CEO of Dallas-based 7-Eleven, said in a statement. "This new and innovative Kwedit Payment Network supports 7-Eleven's strategy of offering a broad range of services for consumers who pay with cash or do not have a credit or debit card."
Danny Shader, CEO of Kwedit, Inc., added: "Offering the convenience of 7-Eleven to online consumers is a key component of Kwedit. 7-Eleven's thousands of locations, trusted brand and reputation for being first-to-market with innovative products and services make it an ideal partner for Kwedit. We look forward to jointly working with 7-Eleven to provide access to even more products and services for consumers."
7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses more than 8,100 stores in North America.
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