Facebook launches local currency payments API, will officially end Facebook credits September 12

After announcing its intention to end Facebook Credits last March, Facebook has launched the local currency payments API today. Replacing Facebook Credits, the local currency payments API has been put in place to simplify purchase experience, improve payments flow and make it easier to price virtual goods globally.

Facebook has asked game developers to integrate into their current and future apps, giving a 90 day window to migrate to the API. After the 90 days, which falls on September 12, Facebook will only accept payments through the API and no longer accept Facebook Credits.

Facebook has also stated that it will also be depreciating Payer Promotions for Facebook Credits and will reintroduce to local currency in the next few months. It will also depreciate Facebook-sponsored support for TrialPay offers, but TrialPay will continue to support the promotions through a direct integration solution. Instead of using Facebook’s currency payments API, integration support will be supported by direct integration. Only technical integration will be different, fees will not change and advertising rules will not change.

[EDITORS NOTE: Due to misunderstanding of the original blog post, we first reported that Facebook would be depreciating TrialPay. To correct this mistake, Facebook will not be eliminating offers, but will move from a Facebook API to a direct integration with TrialPay. Facebook has since updated their blog post to better communicate the migration.]

The new currency payments API will improve app performance by caching static prices with Facebook, but developers will also be able to price items dynamically. In early tests with select game developers, Facebook found new payments API provided for a faster and smoother overall users experience.

Excerpt from earlier post in March:

Through the local currency payments API, Developers will be able to set more granular and consistent prices for non-U.S. users and price the same item differently on a market-by-market basis, as opposed to pricing their virtual goods in $0.10 USD increments as was required when Credits became mandatory in July 2011. This also eliminates any confusion that resulted from users trying to think about conversion rates for dollars, Credits and in-game currency.

The social network first introduced what it called “Pay with Facebook” in May 2009. That eventually got combined with the Credits program associated with virtual gifts that users could buy and post to each other’s profiles. In July 2011, Facebook made Credits mandatory for social games.

Only 27 million users — a little over 2 percent of total monthly active users — paid for virtual goods on the platform in 2012. Facebook generated about $251 million in games-related payments revenue in the fourth quarter of 2012. That’s nearly 16 percent of total revenue for the quarter, a percentage that has been declining as game developers invest less in Facebook canvas experiences and as the social network focuses more on its ads business.