Monetization solutions firm PlaySpan, a Visa company, today announced that its UltimatePay combination subscription and micropayments billing product is available to all content and application providers.

During the past eight months it has been limited to use by a controlled group of 20 companies, including Nickelodeon, Playdom, Ubisoft, K2, Livemocha, Knowledge Adventure, Gazillion, Gaia, R2 Games, Quepasa and Woozworld.

Karl Mehta, head of PlaySpan, said it was important to ensure the product worked smoothly, securely and reliably in a production environment before making it generally available.

“It’s been very successful,” he told Digital Media Wire, shortly before joining his panel at the LA Games Conference. “Our roots are in the microtransaction world, so we brought that capability to UltimatePay. That’s a unique thing in our industry. We’re seeing that successful monetization is both virtual goods and subscriptions, and we can do both in the same game.”

This mixed model of recurring billing revenues and virtual goods purchases can save time and money for developers and publishers, Mehta said, since they only have to partner with a single provider and integrate one system end-to-end. These savings are even more significant as the client scales upward, he added.

PlaySpan’s UltimatePay provides more than 85 global payment methods, including mobile, online bank transfer, multiple pre-paid cards including its own Ultimate Game Card.

Among UltimatePay’s capabilities are: trial periods, grace periods, multi-currency pricing, thorough reporting, and subscriber status history, plan switching, suspension and reactivation.

Kids maxing out their parents’ credit cards can be a problem in this industry, as evidenced by Garen Meguerian’s class-action lawsuit against Apple. PlaySpan’s UltimatePay addresses this with a sophisticated, fully COPPA-compliant system for dealing with those under the age of 13. “It’s part of the design,” Mehta said. “We build in age limits, speed limits, payment limits and other designators, and we have an algorithm that tracks and analyzes that so action can be taken.”

Related links:

PlaySpan – official site