Zeus Research Teams with STi Prepaid to Launch Innovative Payment Platform for Virtual Goods

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New virtual goods payment platform leverages the 200 Million STi Prepaid Calling Cards sold each year in over 200,000 retail outlets to create an innovative alternative payment system.

Zeus Research founder Sean Ryan said, "By partnering with leading calling card company STi Prepaid, we open up an entirely new set of local retail outlets for virtual currency card purchases, which will drive this exciting sector even higher.”

Zeus Research (http://www.zeusresearch.com) today announced its exclusive relationship with STi Prepaid LLC to instantly enable STi’s prepaid calling cards to be used as a payment system for the purchase of virtual goods. STi sells over 200 million cards annually from over 200,000 US retail outlets, providing a massive increase in distribution for Zeus’ online entertainment partners.

Virtual goods purchases are rapidly expanding in the United States, with Think Equity Analyst Atul Bagga recently projecting that the market could double to $2 Billion in 2010. However, a major issue holding back the market continues to be the lack of alternative payment options for those users who don’t have credit cards or who aren’t comfortable using them online. Prepaid game cards are growing as an alternative way to convert cash to credit, but the sector is limited by a lack of retail shelf space and the work needed to roll out cards to each retailer, especially for the rapidly increasing number of online games and worlds.

Rather than roll out a new prepaid card system retailer by retailer, the Zeus patent-pending system instantly converts existing STi Prepaid Phone Cards into virtual goods payment cards that can then be used across a wide range of online entertainment. With over 200 million STi phone cards already sold each year from over 200,000 retail outlets, this approach immediately brings a powerful complement to the other alternative payment options in the marketplace.

"Having seen the issues and opportunities in virtual currency first hand, we spent the year building a service which would be simple for a player to use, quick for a publisher to integrate, and which would provide a massive and instant increase in retail outlets to complement the current payment options” said Sean Ryan, founder of Zeus Research. "By partnering with leading prepaid calling card company STi Prepaid, we open up an entirely new set of local retail outlets for virtual currency card purchases, which will drive this exciting sector even higher.”

Jeanne Hilley, STi Vice President of Marketing said, “At STi we see the relationship with Zeus as an exciting new way to leverage our existing prepaid card distribution strength and world class billing system to help create a leading alternative payment system in the fast-growing virtual goods economy.”

Zeus’ payment system is designed to be easy, fast and secure. There is no need to register or log-in at a site – just click the STi logo within the virtual game or world payment options, fill in the 2 numbers from the back of the STi card, and click Enter. The Zeus API makes it simple for online publishers of any size to begin accepting payments from their users who lack credit cards and other online payment methods, giving publishers a new revenue stream from their current users.

Zeus will launch the STi Prepaid Card service online in March 2010 and will be announcing a series of partners to widely distribute the service.

About Zeus Research LLC
San Francisco-based Zeus Research focuses on creating alternative payment systems for purchasing virtual goods. The company is founded by Sean Ryan, who previously co-founded virtual goods platform TwoFish (now part of Live Gamer), and leading teenage virtual world Meez. For more information, visit http://www.zeusresearch.com.

About STi Prepaid LLC.
STi Prepaid is a long-established name that is recognized nationally and is ranked among the top international terminating carriers in the world. The brand has deeply penetrated the consumer mindset due to availability in high-traffic retail locations, such as convenience stores, discount clubs, grocery stores, drug stores/pharmacies, and newsstands.

STi built its reputation on outstanding phone card products and service. Known for clear connections and excellent service, exceptional value and world class support, customers showed extraordinary loyalty to STi Prepaid and made it one of the top phone card sellers in the U.S., with sales in excess of 200 million cards per year. For more information, visit http://www.stiprepaid.com .

Contact:
Zeus Press Relations
press(at)zeusresearch(dot)com
415-385-0819

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