I know the headline is probably tripping your spam filters, but it’s not spam, I swear. Kwedit, a new online goods payment service debuting in several virtual worlds and MMOs, seeks to enable players to buy their favorite in-game items — even if they don’t have a credit card or PayPal account. Users can print out a “Kwedit Slip” from their printer, bring it in to the local 7-Eleven, and pay it off in cash, at which point their in-game accounts will be kwedited credited for the amount. More interestingly, Kwedit promises that users won’t have to get up and go to the store any time they want some new virtual goods: Using a “Kwedit Promise,” a player can make a pledge for the in-game currency, receive it immediately, and then pay off the IOU at their leisure within the next two weeks.
The obvious question, at this point, is “What happens if I don’t pay them back?” Well, your Kwedit Score will get trashed, is what will happen. That’s not actually a joke: Each user will have a “Kwedit Score” which reflects the timeliness and reliability of their payment history. Get a high Kwedit Score, and merchants will be willing to give you larger advances. Miss your payments, and you will become ineligible for Kwedit.
I’m all for opening up virtual goods to “the 80 million Americans who have no credit or debit card or many more who prefer to pay with cash to make purchases online and pay for them conveniently.” Kwedit also promises that “A Kwedit Score is not like a real-life FICO Score that can hurt your chances of getting a credit card or car loan in the future.” That’s fortunate, especially since there must obviously be safeguards to prevent abuse via through multiple email addresses or in-game alt accounts. To do otherwise would be lunacy.
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