Games

How Codashop Spurs Gamers to Make More in-game Purchases

By

Mohit Kamboj

Codashop, a web-based shopping cart for gaming and other digital content purchases, Codashop enables publishers to accept payments for mobile games and other digital content on codashop.com.

Through Codashop, developers and publishers make it easier for their customers to access the content they love by allowing them to choose from more than 300 convenient payment methods. Coda also operates Codapay, which publishers use to accept the same range of payment methods available on Codashop on their own websites, and Codacash, a closed-loop e-wallet that offers loyalty rewards to customers.

Coda Payments started over 10 years ago. Codashop’s first market was Indonesia. Now it operates in about 50 markets, starting in Southeast Asia and expanding into place like South Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and since September, Europe. Many of the markets where it operates are emerging markets.

“What was happening at that time was hundreds of millions of people around the world were coming online for the first time through the proliferation of smartphones,” Davidson said. “And we foresaw that a large number of these users were going to be coming online, they were going to be eager to participate in the internet economy. But they were going to be prevented from participating fully because so many of them didn’t have a payment instrument that was widely accepted online.”

He added, “We set out to build a platform and build infrastructure, which would allow users to pay for purchases online using local payment methods and payment methods that they were perhaps already familiar with using for purchases offline. And then we made infrastructure available to merchants who were looking to reach these newly connected consumers.”

Game publishers needed to reach players all over the world and use payment systems that worked across borders. Those merchants had some unique problems dealing with tax cross-border settlements and local regulations.

“We found that we could build a set of solutions that was specifically geared to the requirements. And so that’s what we have been working on, really for the last 10 years,” Davidson said.

To make a purchase in Codashop, you submit your player ID for a game. Then you choose the denomination of virtual currency that you want to purchase and then it is instantly added into the app. The shop is connected directly to the API for the game so that the delivery can be instant. Instead of taking a 30% commission as the traditional app stores do, Codashop takes 15%.

“As soon as that payment goes through, we send an API call back to the publisher to ask them to increment the ending balance of that particular user. And so as soon as he or she switches apps, once again, back to the game, they’ll see their in-game currency incremented,” Davidson said. “This is a pretty unique user experience and it is something that we were one of the earliest to adopt. And our customers, once they’ve started to use Codashop, find it just about as seamless as making a purchase.”

You can pay for the purchase with any of 300 alternative payment systems, like Venmo or the Cash App. Right now, on iOS, Codashop is not allowed to sell apps that are in the App Store already. But it can sell virtual currency that you can assign to your account in a variety of app stores. And people are willingly doing this for the convenience of paying with a local payment system on their phones or to get access to special marketing deals, Davidson said.

Alternative stores are becoming more intriguing to game companies thanks to a ruling by a federal judge in the Epic Games vs. Apple antitrust lawsuit. While Epic lost most of its claims (the case is under appeal), the judge ruled in the Fortnite developer’s favor in saying that Apple could not prohibit developers in its iOS app store from promoting deals off the store. That, in turn, has raised the prospects for alternative app stores on mobile devices.

Publishers and developers work with Coda to generate new revenues, reduce their monetization costs, and reach new paying audiences. Backed by a secure and reliable payments infrastructure and offering a seamless user experience, Codashop allows customers to select from a wide range of popular payment methods and enjoy exclusive deals.

“It’s really striking how different that consumer payments landscape is in some of the markets that Coda operates. And I think the high-level summary here is that what we see typically is a much higher degree of fragmentation among the payment instruments that the customers use,” Davidson said. “In the U.S. and Europe and other developed markets, the vast majority of online transactions are paid for with credit or a debit card.”

In emerging markets, the market fragmentation is growing.