News & Views - Savantor

Virtually Reality

Tuesday, 01 August 2006

If you thought managing your money was a good exercise in reality then think again.  The company behind online science fiction game Entropia Universe - a role-playing game that has a real world cash economy - is introducing a new pre-paid card that allows gamers to deposit money into virtual accounts without having to use a personal debit or credit card.

MindArk, the Sweden-based company that developed Entropia, has launched a new monetary deposit platform designed by Paysafecard, Europe's first pre-paid card for online payments, which is supported by IBM, Commerzbank and Austria's Bawag.  The company says the new payments system creates a safe, convenient and seamless process for anonymously transferring cash to one's character in the game.

The process begins with the purchase of a pre-paid card - available in increments of EUR10, EUR25, EUR50, EUR100) - which will be available at a number of general retail outlets in Europe. The card contains a scratch and reveal PIN code which is then entered into the Entropia deposit system for transfer of funds without the use of a debit or credit card.

The online Entropia Universe supports sales of virtual products with actual cash value within a real economy system that enables players to make purchases, sales and exchange real-life currency into PED (Project Entropia dollars) and back again into real money, at a fixed exchange rate to the US dollar.

Gamers are also able to use a cash card at cash machines around the world to convert virtual dollars into real currency. It allows people to access their virtually acquired PEDs and convert them into real world money at any cash machine in the world. The card, issued by MindArk, is associated with the players Entropia Universe account and has all of the features of a real world bank account. Players can transfer, withdraw, deposit and even view account balances using the system.

Gamers can earn cash by accumulating PEDs via the acquisition of goods, buildings and land. Last year $165m passed through the game and the founders of the online Universe expect that to at least double in 2006.

Such cards blur the boundary between the virtual and physical world and are clearly gaining popularity amongst this generation of game players.  If this is a sign of things to come then maybe it adds a whole new dimension – literally and metaphorically – to card issuers marketing techniques.

Savantor Services

Savantor Services

Savantor services are tailored to Client needs based on our core service areas

Specialist Resourcing Payments Strategy Platform Transition Operational Efficiency
Savantor Services

Job Opportunities

Consulting and contracting roles in the payments, mobile and banking arena within the UK and across Europe

View more
Savantor Services

Savantor Views

Find out more from our Savantor brochures, MarketEye back copies and Industry opinion

Collateral Market Eye News & Views Sign Up to receive MarketEye

Client Quotes

Market Insights

"Savantor did a good job in helping us understand the dynamics of a key growth area for Trionis. Savantor's ability to listen and their degree of commitment have always impressed me. They have been of great help in providing us important market insights and I would not hesitate to work with them again in future."

Ernst Verbeek, Managing Director - Trionis - Belgium

Complex Cards Business Transformation

"This was a major business transformation that required us to build an excellent team made up of internal bank specialists, supported by external card business, technical and operations expertise. Savantor provided specialists from the local market and with international experience to fill a variety of important roles. The Savantor resourcing team are professional, reliable and good people to work with."

Ricardo Gomez, Director - Operations & Technology - WiZink Bank - Spain

Collections Transformation

"Savantor did an absolutely superb job for us on the Collections programme. The professionalism, hard work, courtesy and tenacity of their experts is a credit both to the individuals and to Savantor."

Peter O'Dea, Senior Manager - Collections Department - Permanent tsb bank - Ireland

Interchange Review

"Savantor did a superb job in confirming what we believed was an area of weakness. The detail we now have will enable us to agree internally what we need to do to improve structure, control and income. Nationwide management were very impressed with the quality of the Savantor team."

Adam Slater, Senior Manager - Banking - Nationwide Building Society - UK

Payment Specialists

"Working close with Savantor's professionals over the years in the payment arena. I appreciate the skills and knowledge these guys have and will surely engage with them when opportunities arise. The current engagement with Savantor is full to satisfaction and beyond."

Idsert Walta, Head of Banking Categories - Nordea - Scandinavia

Credit Card Migration and Operational Support

"The bank has undergone significant transformation of its card business on both the issuing and acquiring sides. One business partner we have looked to for support in the areas of strategy, major project leadership, management analysis and ongoing business support is Savantor. The Savantor team has contributed to our success as we have leveraged their deep industry knowledge and broad range of operational skills."

Sean Sheehan, Service Management Director - Bank of Ireland

Credit Risk Review for New Product Launch

"We needed expert help at short notice and Savantor were very impressive in their response and knowledge. The results were very clear and useful, enabling us to quickly make good progress on the next steps."

Sami Karhunen, Head of Business Intelligence and SME Sales - Point Transaction Systems Oy - Finland

New Payments Initiative

"In moving our new initiative into reality, we required specialist payments knowledge and forward thinking in the retail sector. Savantor supplied this and provided very effective guidance throughout. We enjoyed working with them."

Sophie High, Head of Innovation Delivery - Cancer Research UK

Clients - Request Support

Send us a support request and one of our specialists will be in contact to assist you.

Consultants – Upload your CV

Register your CV with us and gain access to a range of job opportunities through our online job search portal.