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E-micropayments sweat the small stuff

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Many people buy books, CDs, clothes, travel, and other products and services over the Internet every day. However, after years of online purchasing, one long-promised aspect of e-commerce has remained largely unfulfilled: electronic micropayments for items that cost $5 or less. There appears to be a growing demand for e-micropayment technologies that enable the purchase of items and services such as MP3 music files, magazine and newspaper articles, Web-based comics, pay-per-view videos, database access, and driving directions. Several companies are developing e-micropayment products, including BitPass's Core BitPass System and BitPass Studios; Firstgate's Click & Buy; Payloadz's system; Paystone's personal, merchant, and group-pay accounts. The technology faces several obstacles, including the need to convince sellers and users to trust and work with e-micropayments.

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:37 ,  Issue: 8 )