Micropayment Solution Keeps On Searching For A Business Model
from the one-of-these-days-we'll-find-it dept
We've never been big on the idea of micropayments. It's a concept that seems to infatuate a new crowd of people every few years, who never seem to look back on why micropayments don't work -- especially online. However, each time a new company comes along with an idea for micropayments, we're subjected to a bunch of articles about how it's going to change the web and let all those publishers start charging for content instead of offering it up for free. Of course, this won't happen because the value of the web is in the content that's readily available. Locking it all up behind pay walls just means no one will pay attention to it. It has little to do with the fee amount, either. It's just the simple mental transaction costs of having to think about how much something costs and whether or not it's worth it, that takes away much of the appeal. The big champion of micropayments over the past couple years has been Peppercoin, who claimed we'd all be paying pennies to look at online comics and read newspapers by now. That didn't happen, and the company announced last year that it would shift away from internet transactions and look for general ways to make micropayments via credit cards. Apparently, they're finally making some progress, as they've announced a deal with Master Card to better handle small transactions. It makes for a nice headline, but it's still not clear that anyone really wants to make these small transactions.