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The Future of Micropayments
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Wikkit
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Joined: 09 Sep 2001
Posts: 145
Location: Iowa

PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2002 1:29 am    Post subject: The Future of Micropayments Reply with quote

I decided that I may want to pick up a micropayment domain. I think micropayments will eventually be common for content sites (webcomics, journalism, how-to, and undoubtedly porn) that don't want to run on the advertising model, especially if the web advertising market collapses any further. Of course, none of this is news to any of you.

At some point I thought I might try and implement one, which is why I went looking for a domain name. Looking is the operative word, not buying. I also wanted to see if any were operating.

micropayment.com/.net/.org/.co.uk are taken.
micropayments.com/.net/.org/.co.uk are taken.
nanopayment.com/.net/ are taken.
nanopayments.com/.net/ are taken.
smallpay.com/.net are taken.
tinypay.com is taken.
subpay.com is taken.
paysmall.com is taken.

It goes on like that. I haven't found a .com that has anything to do with micropayments that is available, and of all those domains I can't find any who are actully running a micropayment service.

Does anyone know if anyone is ever going to actually launch a micropayment service? The concept isn't even very difficult; one competent web person and one programmer could make a functional site and service in a weekend. Are there plans to do this sort of thing? PayPal could do major buisness by expanding into micropayments.
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Alexander D.
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Joined: 15 Feb 2002
Posts: 177
Location: MA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2002 12:53 pm    Post subject: Re: The Future of Micropayments Reply with quote

Wikkit wrote:
The concept isn't even very difficult; one competent web person and one programmer could make a functional site and service in a weekend.


!!!! Man, you ought to find yourself that programmer, because if you've figured out a simple solution to Micropayments, then you're all set to take over the industry, since no one else has gotten that far yet.

Seriously, while the concept of micropayments is simple enough, the actual implementation is far more complex, and a lot of very convincing arguments as to why micropayments may not even be possible have been put forward. Personally, I don't think any of the obstacles I've heard about are truly insurmountable, but some of them will definitely be difficult to get past.

Here's the main problem that stuck in my mind -- the cost of processing a transaction is typically more expensive than the few cents that would be earned from a micropayment. In other words, every time a micropayment is made, the micropayment service loses money.

No, I'm certain somebody will find a solution to this problem, but it's not easy, especially when many of the solutions have problems of their own.

Now, that being said, there are a number of companies working toward creating a viable solution. None of them have pulled it off yet, but somewhere on the commerce board there is a list of the companies who are making an effort. I don't remember the name of the topic, but if you're really interested in micropayments, it would probably be worthwhile for you to do some digging in the old posts to find it.
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