DALLAS and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. // PRNewswire // -- 7-Eleven, Inc., the world's largest convenience store chain, and Kwedit, Inc., an innovative provider of alternative payment systems, are making it easier for millions of online gamers to buy virtual goods in a game-changing Play Now. Pay Later.™ plan announced today.
Americans who do not have credit or debit cards or who prefer to pay with cash can now safely and conveniently pay for digital content and virtual goods using Kwedit at more than 5,800 7-Eleven® stores across the United States.
As a result of this relationship, consumers of online entertainment can make payments at 7-Eleven stores using both Kwedit Direct and Kwedit Promise, two services provided by Kwedit.
Kwedit Direct creates Kwedit Slips -- paper "invoices" -- that consumers print --and bring to participating 7-Eleven stores where Kwedit Slips are scanned and payment is accepted at the register. Kwedit transactions are as fast and convenient as buying chips or a Slurpee® beverage.
Kwedit Promise allows consumers to "Play Now. Pay Later." If they want to enhance their game experience, customers not using plastic or Pay Pal no longer have to stop playing just to purchase a prepaid gaming card or get someone else to buy a virtual item for them. With Kwedit Promise, consumers can instead receive digital content and virtual goods from online publishers in exchange for Promises to pay later. Starting today, consumers can conveniently pay off their Kwedit Promises using Kwedit Slips at their local 7-Eleven store.
In addition to facilitating payments, Kwedit Slips can deliver valuable, targeted promotions that consumers can use when they visit their neighborhood 7-Eleven store. In the near future, Kwedit Slips will also be rendered and scanned from consumers' smartphones, providing even greater convenience.
The markets that 7-Eleven and Kwedit will serve with these new products are large and growing: U.S. virtual goods sales reached $1B in 2009 and are projected to grow to $1.6B in 2010, according to InsideVirtualGoods.com. These projections do not include game subscriptions, music purchases, digital downloads and other forms of digital content that can also be served by 7-Eleven and Kwedit.
"7-Eleven and Kwedit are ready to serve millions of Americans who would like to purchase digital content and virtual goods but were unable until today," says Joe DePinto, CEO of 7-Eleven. "This new and innovative Kwedit Payment Network supports 7-Eleven's strategy of offering a broad range of services for consumers who pay with cash or do not have a credit or debit card."
"The combination of 7-Eleven and Kwedit opens up the world of virtual goods to additional consumers who were previously excluded from this exciting market," says Charles Hudson, co-author of the report "The Future of Social Gaming 2010." "Publishers and consumers stand to gain a great deal from today's announcement."
"Offering the convenience of 7-Eleven to online consumers is a key component of Kwedit," says Danny Shader, CEO of Kwedit, Inc. "7-Eleven's thousands of locations, trusted brand and reputation for being first-to-market with innovative products and services make it an ideal partner for Kwedit. We look forward to jointly working with 7-Eleven to provide access to even more products and services for consumers."
7 Eleven, Inc. is the premier name and largest chain in the convenience retailing industry. Based in Dallas, Texas, 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses more than 8,100 7-Eleven® stores in North America. Globally, 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses close to 37,500 stores in 16 countries. During 2008, 7-Eleven stores worldwide generated total sales of more than $53.7 billion. 7-Eleven has been honored by a number of companies and organizations recently. Accolades include: #3 spot on Entrepreneur magazine's Franchise 500 list for 2009, #3 in Forbes magazine's Top 20 Franchises to Start, #3 among Top 100 Global Franchises by Franchise Direct, #3 in Store Growth by Convenience Store News, #2 in Franchise Times Top 200 Franchise Companies and #29 among Top 100 Chains in Food Service. In addition, Hispanic Magazine's named 7-Eleven in its Hispanic Corporate Top 100 Companies that provide the most opportunities to Hispanics. 7-Eleven recently was selected by three diversity publications as a company offering the best career and franchisee opportunities. 7-Eleven is franchising its stores in the U.S., and is expanding through organic growth, acquisitions and its Business Conversion Program.
Kwedit, Inc. is an innovative provider of alternative payment systems that let consumers "Play Now. Pay Later.™" Kwedit Direct enables consumers to conveniently pay for goods and services at participating retail stores such as 7-Eleven, by mailing cash, or by asking a friend or family to pay for them. When consumers use Kwedit Promise, they receive digital content and virtual goods in exchange for Promises to pay later, using Kwedit Direct. Kwedit Promise and Kwedit Direct are powered by the patents-pending Kwedit Payment Network.