Why You’ll Need a Credit Card for Online Gaming

By Stephen Fisherton on December 5, 2012

The Nintendo Wii U might cost $.50 more than you thought. According to people who have purchased the newly-released gaming console, Nintendo requires a $.50 payment by credit card to authorize that users are adults, or have the approval of an adult.

This new requirement may appear on new devices that connect to the internet. Nintendo is required by law to ensure that online users of its products have the permission of an adult; ideally a parent or guardian. To do so, it requires a small $.50 payment by credit card, using the credit card transaction as proof that the user is of adult age.

This is nothing new. Smart phone companies also use credit card authorizations to verify that users are who they say they are and that they are legal users of the product. Laws meant to protect children from the internet and its dangers require that companies do everything in their power to verify the age of their users.

Nintendo’s $.50 credit card charge to play online isn’t just a way to make more money. In fact, Nintendo might not make much more than $.10 on the transaction by the time its done. When Nintendo processes the credit card payment, it will have to pay $.30 in fees plus a percentage of the total. Starting with $.50, fees don’t leave much left.

Credit card verification is a new way for companies to verify the ages of their members and customers. Seeing as the rules and regulations continue to tighten on electronic use by minors, credit card verification may become a standard part of online commerce. It appears as though it’ll be part of new online gaming platforms as well.

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