A late night run to 7/11 could now lead to an agonizing decisions: Slurpee or a new chicken for your virtual farm on FarmVille. PayNearMe has launched a payment system that allows Facebook game players to buy credits for virtual goods at local 7/11 stores around the country. While in Facebook, players select the number of Facebook credits they want to purchase, print a receipt and take it to their local 7-11 where it will be charged at the register just like an item purchased in the store.
Facebook credits run $5.00 for 50, $10.00 for 100 and so forth. Recently, Facebook added free credits to user accounts to help fuel the demand for its currency. The new payment method eliminates the need for using a credit card online. It is PayNearMe’s first step in building a payment system to provide offline payment for online purchases. PayNearMe’s CEO Danny Shader told Inside Facebook that he’s not sure how many people would try the service, but social games and virtual goods are big business. Zynga, the company behind FarmVille, Mafia Wars and PetVille is expected to make more than $450 million this year from virtual purchases. To promote the service, PayNearMe spokesperson said the company will offer bonuses to customers. All users receive a 10 percent bonus at the register and those who are the first to buy credits at that 7-11’s morning, second, or night shift, get an extra bonus of 50 or 100 credits. PayNearMe is developing a mobile app so customers can show a digital barcode instead of printing a receipt at home.
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