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Local Currency Payments Breaking Change

June 5, 2013ByYongyan Liú

As we mentioned in late March, we are moving from Credits to local currency pricing to simplify the purchase experience for users, improve the performance of the payments flow, and make it easier for developers to price virtual goods for a global audience.

Today we are launching the local currency payments API for all game developers to integrate into their current and future apps. Per our breaking change policy, we are giving developers 90 days to migrate to local currency payments. After September 12, 2013, we will no longer be able to support Facebook Credits. In order to continue accepting payments, please plan to migrate your app before that date.

In addition, we will be deprecating Payer Promotions for Facebook Credits, and will support Payer Promotions for local currency within the coming months. We also will be deprecating Facebook-sponsored support for TrialPay offers, however, TrialPay will continue to support these for Facebook & our developers by offering a direct integration solution for developers. This means the integration support will move from Facebook to direct integration solutions. Fees will remain the same and advertising rules will not change; only the technical integration will be different.

Local currency payments gives developers much more control over their pricing and payments. As a result of the new payments API, you can now:

  • Set prices for in-game items by market so users in different countries see the most marketable prices relevant to their currency.
  • Cache static prices with Facebook and remove the blocking server request to collect item information at time of purchase, improving your app's performance. Optionally, the pricing callback can still be used to price items dynamically, giving you full flexibility when deciding how to price your items.
  • Realize additional reduced latency as a result of fewer server requests for payment completion, like the second server request to confirm order fulfillment and real-time updates to confirm the transaction.

Before announcing the payments breaking change, we onboarded early partners to help provide an outside perspective on the effects on payment conversion, as well as feedback on features we could implement and improve upon before general availability.

Peak, a game development company based out of Turkey, migrated to local currency and found that the removal of blocking HTTP requests created a faster and smoother overall user experience than the previous payment system. One of the largest game development companies, Playdom, found that the use of Open Graph objects quickened the user payment flow as the new system did not have to wait for their servers to respond with price point information. Happy Elements, a games development partner in Asia, similarly found that local currency payments greatly improved their loading and transaction speeds, providing an overall better user experience.

Plarium, an Israeli game development partner and another early adopter of local currency, found that the new payment system gave them much more flexibility when pricing across a range of local currencies. They noted that they could quickly and easily customize pricing for blocks of game currency to suit specific markets and regions, and tweak prices to match ongoing promotions.

Example pricing in Plarium's Total Domination game

We strongly encourage you to start the process now to ensure you have adequate time to integrate local currency pricing and to optimize your app's payment experience, performance, and pricing. Below are a few key considerations as you begin to migrate your payments:

  • International pricing – To determine which currencies to support in pricing your items, consider using the App Insights tool to understand which users currently frequent your app and from what countries. More information can be found on our best practices page.
  • In-game currency – We highly encourage you to create your own in-game currency to maintain your app’s economy and flexibly change currency packages whenever you want. This gives you more control over the pricing of your in-game items. More information can be found on our best practices page.
  • Mobile specific store - To support the best payment experience for users who wish to pay with mobile, we suggest creating a mobile specific store that allows you to optimally price items and determine quantity according to fixed carrier price points. This will ensure your users are not subject to additional transaction fees because of these price points. More information can be found on our best practices page.
  • A/B testing – In an effort to make it easier for developers to migrate, we have created a simple API that allows you to test the new payment dialog and roll it out incrementally to random groups of users. This will let you compare the legacy Credits system side-by-side with the new local currency one to ensure the migration will be a good experience for you and your users. More information can be found in our testing documentation.

For more information on how to start integrating the local currency APIs, check out our overview of local currency payments, documentation, and best practices.

If you have any further questions, please visit our developer FAQs on local currency.