AT&T To Sell New Prepaid Web Cents Cards

from the new-payment-experiments dept

AT&T is starting to experiment with different payment mechanisms for online content, including their new prepaid “Web Cents” cards, which let people buy a card that can be applied towards online purchases – allowing people to keep their anonymity (and protect their credit card) online. It’s designed to work with relatively low priced items. It can be used in a variety of situations, including as a way to let kids pay for some (limited) amount of content online. However, as the article points out, a big opportunity may be that it lets people access porn without giving out their credit card. Basically, it’s just a debit card with a very limited total amount. I’m actually surprised that these haven’t caught on earlier. Right now, though, they’re limited to specific sites. For example, you can buy a card just for content at However, down the road, I imagine these cards will act more like cash online – which will make them infinitely more useful. Of course, the downside is that content providers are going to think that solutions like this mean they’ll be able to charge for online content – which, for most content, is the wrong way to go.

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