Innovation That Matters

Gaming donations | Photo source Pixabay

Social gaming meets mobile micro-lending

Publishing & Media

A new gaming innovation allows players to donate to microloan payments and developers to boost their revenue at the same time.

Microloans are small, interest-bearing loans made to entrepreneurs in developing economies. Because they accrue interest, the capital can be lent out in perpetuity. In most regions loan default rates are lower than 2%, and notably women are particularly reliable at making repayments. Play Seeds is a new product that allows online gamers to make microfinance donations as they play.

We spend 3 billion hours each week playing online games, but research shows that only 3% of players make purchases in-app. Seeds targets the 97% of app users who are non-payers, inspiring them to spend through social good. The product is integrated directly into the game environment, so that users already playing a game can choose to make a microloan through the game with a virtual purchase. The money goes directly to the cell phone of a borrower in Kenya or elsewhere through a text message, and the loan is repaid in the same manner. As well as those receiving the microloan, app developers also benefit as it boosts revenue. The technology is free, takes 20 minutes to set up and can improve an app developer’s revenue by as much as 33%. The pricing works like this: in a USD 10 purchase the App store takes USD 3, USD 2 goes to the microloan (capital that is re-lent in perpetuity), USD 1 goes to Seeds and USD 4 goes to the developer. Donating players are informed that when they spend a few dollars on the purchase they’re simultaneously contributing to sustainable social good, thereby encouraging them to make future purchases. The product also includes a sharing feature, so that your users can let their friends know that they’ve contributed, driving new spending.

In June last year we wrote about this gamified investment platform that enables Indonesian urbanites to invest in the country’s farms. Are there more ways that giving can be incentivised through gamification?




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