Visa buys digital goods payment platform PlaySpan for $190 million

visa-playspanCredit card giant Visa announced Wednesday that it plans to acquire digital goods payment platform PlaySpan Inc. for $190 million cash. The deal comes a year after Visa’s $2 billion purchase of e-payment company CyberSource, and will extend its “capabilities into one of the fastest-growing segments of eCommerce – digital and mobile commerce,” says Visa in a press release.

PlaySpan, which offers 85 different payment methods in 180 countries, allows publishers and developers to offer digital goods and services through online games, mobile apps and social networks. The e-commerce company also offers a pre-paid virtual goods credit card, Ultimate Game Card, which is the available at more than 50,000 retail locations in the United States, and is the most-used card of its kind.

Last October, Facebook made a deal with PlaySpan to utilize its UltimatePay service to provide the social networking site’s users with 20 additional ways to purchase Facebook Credits, which are used in more than 200 games on the site.

As we recently reported, e-commerce sales in the U.S. reached $43 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010, with $1 billion in sales recorded on November 29, “Cyber Monday” alone. According to comScore, that’s an 11 percent increase from the same period in 2009.

Visa says global e-commerce sales topped $989 billion dollars in 2010. And so far this year, Visa has already reported 25 percent year-over-year growth in its global e-commerce transactions for the first quarter of 2011.

The Visa acquisition In 2010, PlaySpan, generated an estimated $25 billion globally. Visa expects that number to jump to $280 billion by 2014.

And here’s a little tidbit that will make you question your worth in this world: PlaySpan was founded by 12-year-old Arjun Mehta, in 2006.


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