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How Coda Cracked The Code on Turning Players into Payers


Back in 2011, swathes of Indonesia’s population were already online via their smartphones. Unfortunately, most were unable to participate in the digital economy. Digital commerce then – and to a certain extent now – has been designed to cater to those with access to traditional financial institutions and credit cards. At the time, approximately 0.5% of Indonesians owned a credit card. This meant that 95.5% of the population were potentially excluded from consuming digital content.

Recognizing the financial barriers prevalent in emerging markets like Indonesia, Neil Davidson and Paul Leishman, Co-Founders of Coda set out to bridge the gap between communities and content publishers by providing a solution that integrated diverse, local payment methods for online purchases. Coda’s commitment was to revolutionize digital content consumption for the millions of smartphone users who lacked access to credit or debit cards.

Indonesia’s then cash-dominated payment landscape was an ideal launchpad for Coda. From there, Coda quickly expanded into Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines. Operating in Southeast Asia exposed Coda to the intricacies of working across multiple markets, allowing teams to gather vital feedback that shaped product development and partnerships, especially in handling cross-border payments.

As Coda evolved, it saw and seized an unmissable opportunity in the gaming industry: to help games teams turn players into payers. Mobile gaming was exploding but in-game currencies and content were only available for purchase using in-app payment methods. The same problem presented itself and Coda was the solution.

Within a decade, Coda established a global footprint and became the world’s leading content monetization solutions provider for digital publishers. From navigating complex regulatory landscapes and compliance requirements to driving user acquisition and retention, Coda was the missing link in the ever-expanding ecosystem of international digital commerce. For publishers, Coda did the heavy lifting so they didn’t have to. This meant more paying players across the world from the US to Kenya to Indonesia and beyond. For players, Coda’s solutions mean they can pay for play their way.

Coda has been named one of the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers, the Financial Times’ 28th fastest-growing company in Southeast Asia and second fastest-growing fintech company in Asia Pacific. It is now proud to add the accolade of Global Brand Magazine’s Best Payment Solutions Provider for the Gaming Industry.

Neil Davidson, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Coda, said: “When Coda first launched more than 12 years ago, the aim was to bring more people into the digital economy by linking up local alternative payment methods to online commerce. As we evolved, we saw a unique opportunity to fill a critical gap between mobile gamers and games teams. Fast forward to 2023, Coda is a trusted partner to over 300 gaming and digital content publishers because we’ve mastered the art of turning players into payers across 65 markets. Publishers get to focus on creating amazing content while we do all the legwork. As Coda enters its next stage of growth, we see ourselves as an integral part of any content publishers’ go-to market strategy, underpinned by deep local market insights, a powerhouse marketing engine and exceptional customer support teams.”

Today, Coda operates in a burgeoning global market: annual spend on digital entertainment is expected to grow to US$370 billion by 2024. In 2022, games publishers paid over US$30 billion in fees to app stores. As Coda’s solutions are provided at half the cost charged by traditional app stores, it’s no surprise that it is the go-to partner for publishers looking to grow globally outside of the app.

Coda currently works with over 300 game publishers – including Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts (EA), Riot Games and Zynga – to help them unlock new revenue at lower cost by reaching paying players through out-of-app content monetization solutions that seamlessly connect to mobile games. They do this using any of Coda’s three flagship solutions:

  1. Codashop – an independent content marketplace or ‘webshop’ for digital content that is the preferred choice for over 10 million monthly gamers
  2. Codapay – a seamless API service for publishers who already have a website allowing them to accept the same range of over 300 payment methods available on Codashop on their own website.
  3. xShop – which extends publishers’ reach by making their content easily integrated and available on a range of third-party super-apps, e-commerce sites and other consumer-facing platforms.

Coda has also launched Codacash, its proprietary closed-loop e-wallet that rewards loyal Codashop customers with exclusive deals and discounts. Only two years since its launch, Codacash is now available in nine markets including the UK, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.

Even as Coda delivers on its promise of turning players into payers, it has its eyes firmly set on continuous global growth. To do that, Coda continues to strategically invest in its people and product to ensure it is the preferred partner for publishers and the best purchase platform for players.

Central to Coda’s future is also its commitment to communities. For Coda, purpose drives profit. As a company that operates predominantly within the gaming ecosystem, Coda seeks to spotlight the underserved areas of health, wellbeing and safety issues amongst casual gamers as well as professional esports athletes. Through the #HealthyGamingWithCoda or #MainSehatBarengCoda research in Indonesia, Coda has adopted a scientific approach to understanding and advocating for responsible gaming by partnering with Pondok Indah Hospital-Bintaro Jaya’s Sports Medicine, Injury and Recovery Center (SMIRC) as well as leading Indonesian medical professionals including Sports Medicine Specialist, Dr. Andi Kurniawan, Orthopaedic Specialist Dr. Erica Kholinne, as well as Dr. Kianti Darusman, an Ophthalmologist and Dr. Zulvia Syarif, SpKJ, a Psychiatrist. The extensive research project covers matters ranging from physical injuries to mental health issues arising out of cyberbullying and harassment which are widespread in gaming. Through this initiative and looking to the future, Coda aims to be part of the movement that helps gamers everywhere play safer, smarter and stronger.

For Coda, this is just the beginning. With its sights set on the horizon, Coda is ready for its next phase of revolutionizing online commerce through solutions that break down barriers between publishers and their audiences, all while being a positive force for change within the gaming community and beyond.

Learn more about Coda on our website and LinkedIn page.

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