Will Digital Content Bring back Micropayments

This is a rebirth of the micropayments concept first introduced in by a Dutch firm called Digicash, which developed a solution to the problem of making small payments online. It boasted the geeky merit of being provable mathematically -- by a powerful picture embodied in a simple software product.

Digicash's system was extremely elegant. It featured convincing benefits, such as anonymity for users, bullet-proof security for merchants and no limits on transaction values, i. e., it could be used to make payments of only a few pence or even a multi-million pound transaction.

To make this possible, Digicash counted alone freshly minted digital currency: Cyberbucks. Plenty were impressed by Digicash's apparent potential to short-circuit the global financial system by replacing big, centrally-issued stock markets with untraceable private ones.

Sadly, these were the only people who got excited about Digicash. Cyberbucks never caught on, and the company ultimately went bust, despite having a core business in smart cards for governments and banks.

The problem was that merchants disliked the anonymity part, governments disliked the alternative currency part, banks disliked the competition and Internet surfers could not be asked they even needed micropayments at all.

Meanwhile, the big players such as Visa and Mastercard begun to pay attention and launched their own services and products for the Web. The rest is history.

But there is a new interest in micropayments that aims to tap the potential for really small online transactions by finally making them economical for merchants. The main problem with such transactions is that fees charged by banks and the creditors eat into the whole profit if the transaction is too small.

To get around this, new schemes must portion microtransactions and complete a charge card transaction on a set amount, say, US$20. As a merchant, payment from a micropayment service might be received for only one in 100 completed transactions. The micropayment service will choose when to pay a merchant and how much to pay. 

소액결제 현금화 If 100 customers have each spent 10 pence at your website, it will toss 99 of those transactions, but then pay out a more substantial sum at once.

Therefore, the money paid by those customers will always arrive, even if, day to day, you may find yourself down (or even up) on the sum to be paid. Companies like Yaga and FirstGate explored these types of features in their content payment solutions, but have a different approach to the setup. FirstGate provides an ASP model where the content provider attaches to FirstGate services , nor worry about managing the payment service. Yaga, on the other hand, integrates its technology in a content provider's system and can run the service for the content provider, if required.

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