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Deal with Malaysian online payments company to expand Facebook Credits to Asia
It just got a whole lot easier for users in southeast Asia, India, and Australia to purchase Facebook Credits.
Facebook on Wednesday announced a new distribution partnership with MOL, the Malaysian online payments company notable for having acquired Friendster at the end of 2009.
As part of the deal, MOL AccessPortal, a subsidiary of MOL Global, will became a provider of Facebook Credits. Facebook users will be able to buy Credits with MOLPoints on Facebook and on MOL.com.
Further, starting sometime in the next few months, Facebook members will be able to exchange MOL points, purchased through MOL's network of over 500,000 outlets primarily located in southeast Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, and Thailand), India, Australia, and New Zealand, for Facebook Credits. Customers will have the option of purchasing Credits from 7-Eleven stores, cybercafes, and MOL's network of online banks.
MOL, which capitalizes on the low credit card penetration in its main regions of operation, sees about $200 million in transactions every year.
Facebook appears determined to make Facebook Credits one of the world's most prominent virtual currency platforms. In mid-May, Facebook and Zynga announced the start of a five-year partnership that involves the expansion of Facebook Credits in Zynga games, though details of the deal have yet to be revealed.
Because Facebook takes a 30% cut from Credits purchases in any application that accepts the currency, like Zynga's various popular social games, the virtual currency platform could prove fundamental to Facebook's long-term monetization plan.
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