Virtual Currency and Ewallets
Even if you’ve never heard of virtual currency or emoney, there’s a good chance you have an ewallet somewhere online with some of these site-specific credits just waiting to be spent. Virtual currency is “credits” or “tokens” or “points” that are used to make purchases on the website from which this e money was purchased. An ewallet is the online account in which the virtual currency is stored. If you’ve ever bought FarmVille cash, Microsoft Points or Facebook Credits, what you’ve actually purchased is emoney.
How does emoney work?
Using emoney or virtual currency is really quite easy. Customers set up an account at the vendor’s website and then use real currency (i.e. dollars in the U.S.) to purchase the emoney, which is usually sold in bulk units, such as 50 points or 100 credits. The emoney is then stored in an ewallet in the customer’s account, and used to make purchases from that website. As the virtual currency of that particular website, emoney is used just like real currency.
What are the benefits of virtual currency and ewallets for consumers?
The main benefit for consumers is convenience. Purchasing is much easier because you don’t have to fill out your credit card and billing information every time you want to buy something. If you know you’re going to be making a number of purchases from that website, buying emoney is like buying yourself a gift card. Unlike gift cards, though, you never have to remember where you put it – your emoney is always waiting for you in your ewallet at that site.
What types of businesses use virtual currency?
Virtual currency is used by a wide variety of online businesses, including: Video downloading sites that use emoney for pay-per-minute or pay-per-view downloads Video rental sites Dating sites that require purchase of their emoney in order to contact other site members Stock photo sites Online gaming sites, including virtual worlds. Popular games each have their own unique emoney, such as World of Warcraft Gold, Second Life Linden Dollars and FarmVille Cash and Coins Facebook, which is encouraging more merchants to sell goods through its site for their virtual currency Microsoft, which has made Microsoft Points the emoney of the Xbox LIVE Marketplace And much more.
Why do businesses like to offer virtual currency?
For website owners, emoney and ewallets offer many benefits, including:
– Emoney makes purchasing easier and lowers costs
– Because customers make fewer credit card transactions, the site owner spends less on the fees associated with each transaction.
– The use of virtual currency encourages impulse buys and micro- transactions.
– Customers who still have balances available in their ewallet will come back to make more purchases.
– It’s a global economy. For companies that sell to a world-wide audience, using virtual currency enables them to list all product prices in a single currency.
How does this work from the technical standpoint?
Companies that want to offer emoney integrate their website with a software platform that enables virtual currency use, such as the complete system offered by Metrixstream. Metrixstream’s software provides website owners with built-in support for creation and management of their own virtual currency, including keeping the ewallets secure.