Innovator Bearing Fruit of Social Gaming and Mobile Payments
Name: Si Shen
Title: CEO at PapayaMobile Inc.
What I’m working on now... Papaya, one of the largest social gaming networks on Android
Crowning achievement... In 2010, listed as one of the nine young Chinese entrepreneurs to watch by Forbes
When I'm not working I like to... I like to do international ballroom dancing, hike, jog, do outdoorsy stuff and read
The next big thing in payments is... Mobile billing
Education... B.S. in Computer Science from Tsinghua University, Beijing. M.S. in Computer Science & Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University
My favorite payment factor is... Credit card
PYMNTS.com: Tell our audience a little bit about PapayaMobile. What games does the network offer, and who are its players?
SI SHEN: PapayaMobile is one of the largest mobile social gaming networks on Android, and the platform is going to be available on iPhone, too. Papaya has 10 million users, and most of them are in the United States. Papaya offers 13 social games that we developed, as well as 200 third-party games, including Paper Toss and NinJump. The players are mobile users from 13 to 35. More than half of the players are female.
PYMNTS: PapayaMobile has integrated Android's In-App billing solution. Walk us through how a player might use Android's billing app within a PapayaMobile game.
SI: Papaya has a virtual currency system “papayas.” Normally, it is 1 USD = 1000 papayas. You users can purchase papayas through Android’s In-App billing from Papaya Farm HD. Papayas can be used to exchange for items in the games or the clothing for users’ avatars. The player only needs to download a PapayaMobile game and start to play it. Whenever the user needs to purchase “papayas,” they can either go to “More” -> “Get more papayas” or follow the pop-up window to the In-App billing interface. Once there, users can purchase papayas with one click, as long as the user has set up their credit card information.
PYMNTS: What was the motivation behind enabling Android's In-App billing solution, and how will it enhance the gaming experience for users?
SI: In the other billing methods, users have to open the browser every time when they want to pay. Users also have to log in every time when they want to pay. The third-party SDK also increase the size of the download, which also increases the cost and might result in security issue. For the Android in-app billing, users only need to set up their credit card information once. After that, users can pay with only one click. It supports both credit card billing and carrier billing. Since it is provided by Google API, it does not increase the size of our download.
PYMNTS: To what extent do you believe Android's new In-App billing solution will help the platform to compete with iPhone in terms of providing developers opportunities for monetization?
SI: As long as this feature is easy to use for users around the world, I believe it can help Android developers to achieve similar profitability as iOS.
PYMNTS: Right now, Android’s bill app is only available within Papaya Farm HD in select countries. How will the remainder of the rollout proceed?
SI: We are working on the rest of the games, and they will be rolled out very soon.
Bio: Si Shen
Co-founder and CEO of PapayaMobile Inc. which is one of the biggest mobile social networks and mobile social game developers on Android. Papaya has 3.5 million registered users in the US and Europe although the company is based in Beijing. Papaya has recently opened its platform for third-party developers to develop their applications through Papaya's SDKs and open APIs. PapayaMobile was invested by DCM. Before starting PapayaMobile, Si was the product lead for mobile in Google Beijing. She used to be a product manager for search and mobile advertising in Google Mountain View. Si got her master's degrees in Computer Science and Manage Science and Engineering from Stanford, and her bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Tsinghua University.