Interactive TV Games Company, PlayJam, Taps MPP for Payments Technology

--Says Technology Will Enable It to Introduce Various New Business Models

PlayJam, the pioneering interactive TV games service provider that was acquired by OpenTV in 2001 (through the acquisition of its parent company, Static 2358), and that was re-purchased in early 2008 by its founder, Jasper Smith (see [itvt] Issue 7.77 Part 1), said last week that it has selected MPP's iPay Developer platform to provide it with payments technology to support the evolution of its current consumer offering and the introduction of a range of new business models (note: the iPay Developer platform was also recently selected by another UK-based interactive TV company, Miniweb--see the article published on, May 6th). The company, which offers games on a range of platforms including broadcast and connected TV, the Web and mobile, says that these new business models will see it "unify[ing] its users and their activity" across those platforms. "We required a payments platform which not only processed credit and debit cards, but also provided a unified account solution, including a micropayments engine and had the ability to offer loyalty points to our customers," PlayJam COO, Wayne Thornhill, said in a prepared statement. "With MPP we got all three out-of-the-box."

PlayJam says that it will shortly relaunch its online presence in order to "deliver a more community-driven games proposition, fully integrated with the global TV experience," and that as part of this relaunch, "a product roadmap of further enhancements to drive maximum commercial value from the established PlayJam reach is now underway." It plans to launch a series of casual, skill-based and tournament-based games in the near future, and says that MPP will provide the ability for users to pay to play for those games, either online or "via any of the [other] platforms they use to engage with PlayJam." A user eWallet will be set up, the company says, which will then be used to pay for access on a pay-to-play or subscription basis; according to the company, winners will be able to swap the points they earn for prizes or cash, with the process being managed by MPP on PlayJam's behalf.

According to MPP, iPay Developer is an ecommerce payment gateway that will enable PlayJam to implement a range of payment and subscription tools. It is equipped with MPP's eWallet technology, which the latter bills as enabling consumers to make easy repeat purchases at the click--or the press--of a button. MPP also provides an account manager application, which it says will enable PlayJam's customers to manage their payment card, view their transaction history, self-manage subscriptions, buy service credits and request cash withdrawals. Other iPay Developer features, according to MPP, include a support console that allows customer service reps to manage customer inquiries, and an advanced management console that allows administrators to retrieve "instant snapshots" of account statistics, account histories and numbers of subscribers, as well as enabling them to download reports for data mining and analysis. "Naturally, we are delighted to be working so closely with PlayJam," MPP CEO, Paul Johnson, said in a prepared statement. "To support them as they monetize and bring together the 45 million TV homes they reach around the world is a challenge we are looking forward to."