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BitPass: Micropayment That Seems To Work

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the mass-adoption-is-the-key dept.

Businesses 180

Omega1045 writes "I have been following the story of BitPass for some time now. The micropayment solution provider has been featured on Slashdot before. That article focused on Scott McCloud, and his comic The Right Number. Since that story, BitPass has added a number of sites using their service. From this netizen, it looks like the idea is really taking off. Some news sources (NJ.com, SiliconValley.com) have noticed how this micropayment trend has progressed to include well known services like iTunes. I really like the idea of the artist getting a fair cut of the profits at BitPass."

cancel ×

180 comments

First Post? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430028)

Fuck Bitpass.

HERE'S A SLASHDOT ENEMY (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430040)

Here's Tyreth [slashdot.org] . Tyreth is a Christian Fundamentalist troll dumping shit on many threads ; take a look at his recent posts and see for yourself. His specialty is talkshitting about the evolution theory and spitting half-baked syllogisms he sees as solid ground for this plague known as creationism.

If you care about quality discussion on Slashdot, please put Tyreth on your Foes list and regularly mod him down to death. Thanks a lot.

Re:HERE'S A SLASHDOT ENEMY (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430078)

Thanks! I've marked him as a foe, keep up the good work.

Re:First Post? (-1, Offtopic)

spamguy (691996) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430047)

I have pimples that have been labelled more insightful than the post 'Fuck Bitpass.'

Holy Crapola (-1, Offtopic)

Omega1045 (584264) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430030)

Wow, my first post to the /. front page!

Re:Holy Crapola (-1, Offtopic)

Andorion (526481) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430035)

Congrats =) Now, back to your regularly scheduled threads!

Re:Holy Crapola (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430036)

Thank you for spewing more of Scott McLoud's crap. Like we don't have enough of it already.

Re:Holy Crapola (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430046)

You fail it! On account of me getting the FP. :-D

Oh, you meant story submission. Heh. Well, =I= got first post. Suck it, bitch! :-D

Re:Holy Crapola (-1, Offtopic)

Omega1045 (584264) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430060)

Me so sad I am off topic. Me bad ./ user. Me never do it again, have learned me less. How dare me be happy about anything...

Next time... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430086)

Talk to the hole [goatse.cx]

Re:Next time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430328)

What's up with the pumpkin bullshit. I want the normal picture back!

G5 help? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430037)

I have a Intel Athlon 450Mhz III. Can I purchase an ISA card with a G5 processor on it along with MacOS XP on a floppy disk?

Thanx.

Of course (-1, Interesting)

Sir Haxalot (693401) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430039)

whether this works or not depends on how many people use it. Time will tell if it suceeds or fails.

Re:Of course (-1, Troll)

Pingular (670773) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430053)

Of course whether this works or not depends on how many people use it. Time will tell if it suceeds or fails.
Absolutley. The success of a product or service always depends on if it's in demand and if the company or people providing the product or service are doing what they set out to do, be it making money/getting a group of people to do a certain thing/whatever.

This is funny... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430095)

since Pingular [slashdot.org] is another account for Sir Haxalot [slashdot.org] ! Maybe he thinks we don't know already...

Well now you do.

Re:Of course (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430100)

Pingular and Sir Haxalot are the same person, interestingly enough. You might want to see someone about this talking to yourself thing.

Re:Of course (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430106)

You two fruitcakes would probably get more karma IF YOU ACTUALLY HAD SOMETHING TO SAY!!

Re:Of course (2, Insightful)

ksandom (718283) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430130)

Even if it doesn't succeed, it lays the ground work for ideas to spawn off that might lead to something better later on. On the net there is a culture of take what you want. Open source works well with this, but economics based on scarcity does not. Thus leading to piracy. If piracy is reduced it's still a step forward.

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430206)

I see your future Fagsalot, and it says, "GET A LIFE!"

Add this 3 comment history numbskull to your foes [slashdot.org] list as well.

MOD PARENT UP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430062)

This is the return of the greatest karma whore on Slashdot, SIR HAXALOT [slashdot.org] ! He's been banned for a while but now he's back for more excellent trolling. If you enjoy shit on Slashdot, give the man some credit !

YOUR REPORTO CARD IS DOWN, NIGGA! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430109)

You fail everything except ani-may-shun!

If nigga no go to skoo, nigga no get a job. If nigga no get a job, nigga no make no money. If nigga no make no money, nigga no be able to afford BMW 7-series, nigga!

YO! Did somebody orda a case o' forties?
WE DID, NIGGA!

Still... (5, Interesting)

UPAAntilles (693635) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430045)

It doesn't fix the fact that most people don't want to pay for internet content in any way, shape or form. Case in point- IGN. Even though that was subscription based, it's complete "collapse" as it were was caused by moving to the pay model. Fileplanet is having the same types of troubles, as their "exclusive" downloads quickly become not so exclusive. People aren't ready to move beyond advertiser supported web content in droves. It's too early.

Re:Still... (4, Interesting)

Muggins the Mad (27719) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430092)

> It doesn't fix the fact that most people don't want to pay for internet content in any way, shape or form.

I think it all comes down to whether there are enough people who don't mind paying for good content to support the creators.

I'm one of them, and while most of the content under BitPass at the moment isn't really my thing, a lot of it's certainly of high quality and well worth paying for.

And to me, viewing ads *is* paying. In a currency I don't want to spend.

- MugginsM

Re:Still... (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430305)

I think it all comes down to whether there are enough people who don't mind paying for good content to support the creators.

The opposite is just as important. With the given examples of IGN and Fileplanet, the content simply is not compelling enough for people to subscribe. I can generally find the same info on IGN elsewhere (maybe not the same editorials or previews, but I'm not hardcore enough to care), and I can find other mirrors or torrents of Fileplanet downloads. Without excellent subscription-only content (and some way to convey what kind of content you'll get with a subscription, like a free trial month), nobody will be willing to pay.

Re:Still... (3, Interesting)

Saeger (456549) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430484)

comes down to whether there are enough people who don't mind paying for good content to support the creators.

In real life you often get to personally meet those starving artists when you buy their wares or pay for performances; there's a real emotional connection there - not so online (usually). In Real Life you get a feelgood for supporting local artists, and you get a more meaningful "Thank You" when handing over your cash - online it's more antiseptic.

I would be 100 times more likely to pay for really great online content if:

  1. I was recognized as more than a number (or a /. '*') for my contribution.
  2. I had some idea of the artist's bottom line so I knew how badly they needed it vs. some other artist who's just as worthy but not as arbitrarily popular/rich [shirky.com] . Call it an OpenBottomline, kind of like this [scarywater.net] . I don't like sending my money down paypal blackholes.
  3. The content was released under a more open license [creativecommons.org] that allows everyone to stand on others' shoulders, rather than the default Disney "AllMineMineMine!" copyright.
  4. If there was some easy mechanism [firstmonday.dk] to pool my money with others to finance the creation of works we want.

--

Re:Still... (5, Interesting)

worm eater (697149) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430099)

It will certainly take time for the "internet = free" mentality to pass. Major services like Yahoo are gradually moving previously free services over to subscription models. iTunes (et al) are providing indications that people are willing to pay -- even though iTunes itself doesn't make money for anyone but the record labels, and in some cases, the artists. So yes, it will take a little while, but we'll get to the point where people think about it like television. Some people will pay a premium for the extras (cable) -- and some people will just stick with the standards (broadcast networks).

BitPass has a nice model in that they offer a wide range of options. You can charge for specific content, charge for subscriptions to changing content, or just take donations. If they play their cards right, they'll be the next PayPal.

Re:Still... (2, Insightful)

UPAAntilles (693635) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430146)

The problem with comparing this to iTunes is that you're getting music out of it...not internet content, they are 2 very different things. The other problem is if we move to a "cable" way of paying things we get "content networks" like...say...IGN

Too early ? or never come ? (4, Insightful)

aepervius (535155) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430103)

If there is chasm of quality between paid content and free content (like national subventioned tv and cable tv where I live) then people will go for the highiest quality because they have the feeling they get something for their money (I take the tv example as it is what comes as near in mater of content as of web). But if somebody is Offering the same or equivalent conent at same or acceptably same quality then people will not go to pay for service. This is especially true if the free content is in a greater mass than paid content.

The tendence might invert itself. But it will take a lot of time. And I even think maybe never because they will always be a drove of talended people making something for free.

Re:Too early ? or never come ? (1)

Zebbers (134389) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430279)

NO
stop comparing tv and the internet
it is NOT the same
it is quite difficult for the average joe to produce tv content for the masses
it is trivial to produce web content
there will always be the openinfo/opensource mentality people who will provide reasonable content for free, for the love of it.
for a premium service to survive it has got to be VERY premium
itunes is not a webservice or internet service
its a music store
its selling music
over the internet
like amazonsells books

Well most people using the net have no money (1)

Adolph_Hitler (713286) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430158)

You are talking about teenagers and college students. The teenager or the college student has the most free time yet the least amount of money so they surf the web and use the net all day because they have no job, duh. Now to the few who do have a job, they will most likely only visit just a few sites and these people already use Itunes. Last problem is, we dont have a major problem with paying for content. When the economy was good advertisements paid for content, when the economy picks up ads will pay for most internet content just like it pays for radio, tv, and all other devices. This isnt new, most people do not like to pay for radio or for tv, why would you expect us to pay for the internet? Micropayments will never work, only rich people will support something like this and most young people who are from working class families do not have the money and would be simply priced out if slashdot or ign goes micropayment.

Re:Still... (3, Interesting)

znu (31198) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430161)

I really don't think it's just a matter of "too soon". The whole idea of micropayments is probably doomed. This [shirky.com] presents the case far better than I could.

The most important point, IMO, is that there are cognitive costs associated with the decision about whether or not to make a purchase that don't go away as dollar amounts decrease.

Re:Still... (1)

Muggins the Mad (27719) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430229)

> The most important point, IMO, is that there are cognitive costs associated with the decision about whether or not to make a purchase that don't go away as dollar amounts decrease.

Which is a good argument, IMHO. However, aren't there very similar costs in viewing an advert?

- MugginsM

Re:Still... (1)

dolo666 (195584) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430213)

"People aren't ready to move beyond advertiser supported web content in droves. It's too early."

Too early? I think it's too greedy.

Re:Still... (4, Insightful)

FreekyGeek (19819) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430233)

I don't think it's that people don't want to pay, they just don't want to pay for content they don't use. It's *subscriptions* that don't work, not payment in gereal. I'm happy to pay for an article I want to read, but that doesn't mean I want to have a permanent subscription of $x/month. Those can really add up.

Personally, I don't mind at all paying for stuff on an "a la carte" basis. But, just like regular shopping, I want to walk into the store, pick out the thing I want, and buy just that.

I'm betting that, as usual, the first industry to take advantage of a working, widespread micropayment system will be the porn industry.

NOTE TO MOD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430250)

I'm meta-moderated your moderation "uninteresting", may you lose your ability to moderate soon. Let that be a lesson to all of you.

BWAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA!

Re:Still... (1)

MidnightBrewer (97195) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430416)

When will humanity evolve to the point where they'd rather pay than get it for free?

Re:Still... (3, Interesting)

silentbozo (542534) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430444)

Supply and demand. Fileplanet can only afford so much bandwidth to free downloaders. Unfortunately for them, people like me, who hate being forced to turn on Javascript so they can push ads, and who don't want to wait for overloaded servers to queue up our downloads, can now use bittorrents for the more popular items.

I resorted to using a torrent to get the 2.0 patch for America's Army, and I'm a believer now. I downloaded the 200+ megs in about 2 hours, and left the connection on all night to help out other downloaders. By the next day, I had served out 2gb on my torrent connection for AA before shutting it down. I'd rather "pay" using my bandwidth to serve other people, and get very fast service and good d/l rate, than have to sacrifice my personal information just to feed some marketers. Sorry guys.

GAYO (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430049)

GAY-O
By The WIPO Avenger [slashdot.org] , 2003-10-18 18:30
(To the tune of Day-O by Harry Belafonte)

Gay-o, gay-ay-ay-o!
Hemos cum when they suck his bone!
Gay, me say gay, me say gay, me say gay, me say gay, me say gay-ay-ay-o!
Michael cum when they suck his bone!

Suck all night on CowboiKneel's bum! (Hemos cum when they suck his bone!)
Suck Cliff's cock 'til the morning come! (Hemos cum when they suck his bone!)
Cum, Mr. Taco Man, taco-snot all over! (Taco cum when they suck his bone!)
Cum, Mr. Taco Man, taco-snot all over! (Taco cum when they suck his bone!)
It's six foot, seven foot, eight foot COCK! (Jamie cum when they suck his bone!)
Six foot, seven foot, eight foot COCK! (Jamie cum when they suck his bone!)

Gay, me say gay-ay-ay-o! (Hemos cum when they suck his bone!)
Gay, me say gay, me say gay, me say gay... (Hemos cum when they suck his bone!)

A beautiful bunch o' balls on Pater! (Taco cum when they suck his bone!)
He likes to play the game "Hide the Hamster"! (Taco cum when they suck his bone!)
It's six foot, seven foot, eight foot COCK! (Jamie cum when they suck his bone!)
Six foot, seven foot, eight foot COCK! (Jamie cum when they suck his bone!)

Gay, me say gay-ay-ay-o! (Michael cum when they suck his bone!)
Gay, me say gay, me say gay, me say gay... (Michael cum when they suck his bone!)

Cum, Mr. Taco Man, taco-snot all over! (Taco cum when they suck his bone!)
Cum, Mr. Taco Man, taco-snot all over! (Taco cum when they suck his bone!)

GAY-O! Gay-ay-ay-o! (Taco cum when they suck his bone!)
Gay, me say gay, me say gay, me say gay, me say gay, me say gay-ay-ay-o! (Taco cum when they suck his bone!)

-- The WIPO Avenger [slashdot.org]


corepirate nazi life0cide deemed suicidal (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430050)

George Bush is a liar: impeach him

November 6, 2003

The President has no idea where his aggressive policies are leading America, warns Robert Scheer.

On Sunday, 18 more young Americans died in Iraq serving the vanity of an American President who woefully betrayed them and who has no idea where his policies are taking his country.

This is a President who, as is now amply clear, has systematically lied to the troops and the American people about the reasons for going to war, distorting evidence to claim that the United States was threatened by Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and linking Iraq to the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Having led America and its allies by the nose into a clumsy, ill-advised Middle East power grab, President Bush is faced with a terrible quandary: what do we do now?

The first thing is to resist the logic of the self-fulfilling prophecy: Bush claimed Iraq was a centre of international terrorism - it wasn't - and now says that because terrorists are coming over Iraqi borders to take pot shots at Americans, the US needs to stay and fight them.

"We won't run," Bush said, cavalierly dismissing the lives of the young soldiers mired in his folly. This amounts to using America's young men and women as bait and assumes there are a finite number of fanatics who can be dispensed with once and for all.

In fact, the US occupation of the historic centre of the Arab world has provided al-Qaeda and other like-minded groups with their most effective recruiting poster yet, and America is fighting them on their terms and on their turf.

Meanwhile, attacks also are coming from various Iraqi quarters: those who enjoyed favours under Saddam and those who may have been glad to see the US overthrow the tyrant but have since become alienated by an occupation that inevitably inspires nationalist as well as religious opposition.

Why can't America learn from its history in Vietnam and the experiences of the French in Algeria and the Israelis in the West Bank and Gaza that no occupation by an army of "the other" is ever welcome?

Only last week, Israel's army chief of staff issued a warning on the limits of an occupying power to achieve its goals through military force. "It increases hatred for Israel and strengthens the terror organisations," said Lieutenant-General Moshe Yaalon, adding: "In our tactical interests, we are operating contrary to our strategic interests."

Some pundits and politicians, even those who may have been sceptical about the war to begin with, now argue that the US must "finish the job", even if it means increasing its commitment of troops or ruling Iraq indefinitely. This is, however, exactly the kind of stubborn and mushy thinking that led the US into the hell of Vietnam and the deaths of 58,000 Americans and 2 million Vietnamese and Cambodians.

The occupation of Iraq is not working and will not work. For Iraqis, American culture is offensive and American tactics are heavy-handed. As none other than the American-sponsored Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi put it after the latest guerilla attacks: "The Americans, their methods, their operations and their procedures are singularly unsuited to deal with this kind of problem."

And US intentions in Iraq are far from clear. Though there may be an echo of "white man's burden" that seeks to export "civilisation", even that highly questionable goal is clouded and undermined by the fact that Washington inevitably will put a higher priority on having a new Iraq serve America's superpower needs - oil, commerce, military power - rather than meet the needs of regular Iraqis.

Unless America is willing to trade the lives of US troops and Iraqis for the obsessions of empire, America must end the occupation now.

The US can give Chalabi and his crowd the money they need to operate in the short-term and similarly aid the more established Shiite groups. It can beg the UN Security Council to take over this mess, with financial support from the US, and smooth the transfer of power enough to let Bush save face by declaring the mission a victory.

Such a wise reversal of course might even help Bush get re-elected - his poll numbers on Iraq are sinking. If he can back off from the edge of the cliff to which his hyper-aggressive foreign policy has taken the US, the American public might be conned into giving him another term.

Personally, I think the President should be impeached for his lies. But more important, he should redeem himself by coming to his senses and ending the carnage and instability he has wrought in Iraq and the world.

- Los Angeles Times

IHBT, IHL, IWHAND (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430243)

Israel is a first-world country in a third-world region, and one that the United States wants to maintain relations with. The United States' stance is that, should the need arise, Israel should be able to withstand an attack from all of the other Arab countries simultaneously. This means a couple things: helping Israel and hurting (or at least, not helping) everyone else. This is the US' foriegn policy towards the Middle East that has been set for decades, and it's too late to change it. The democratization of the area will lead to a higher level of stability in the area, and hopefully, with Israel's help, we can pull the whole area out of its third-world hole.

Re:IHBT, IHL, IWHAND (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430293)

That country called Israel contains nothing but worthless assholes who should have been gassed a few years earlier... why not just leave them to the Arabs and let them rot in their third-world shithole...

Re:corepirate nazi life0cide deemed suicidal (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430278)

Dubya will never be held accountable because he makes his primitive followers feel proud. Face it:

  • Liberating poor countries from their oil is cool. It makes citizens with a low self-esteem feel like THEY PERSONALLY rule the world.
  • Firing a few hundred missiles from a safe distance is very heroic.
  • All of the soldiers who killed their own comrades and allies were heroes (of incompetence).
  • That blonde chick who failed her mission because she was too dumb to find her way is definitely a hero.
  • You don't need to be worth something to be accepted. You just need to wave a flag and shout "God bless America!", that's all!
  • Every failure can be a hero in Bush's America!
  • Seeing Dubya in a flight suit on board a carrier makes Republicans shoot their load in seconds!
And as long as all of the above is true, the lies will go on.

Re:corepirate nazi life0cide deemed suicidal (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430324)

said Lieutenant-General Moshe Yaalon

How come half of all Isreali generals are named Moshe? Everytime I see one of them cited it's always Moshe said, Moshe this, Moshe that. It's no wonder that a country which is so uncreative gets constantly kicked in the butt by terrorists.

Frosty (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430055)

hope I don't fail it. also, bitpass == teh ghey.

Seeking Mac OS Jaguar for the Apple II (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430061)

Does anyone know where i can get a 486 processor that runs Mac OS Panther for the Apple II? Also, how can I fit a Radeon 9900 onto my ISA slot on it.

Maybe he'd get more money (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430071)

If his shitty comic was better.

Not cheap, very high cost per sale. (3, Informative)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430073)

"For items priced $0.01-$5.00, the transaction fee is 15%."

15%! Are they crazy?

Re:Not cheap, very high cost per sale. (2, Funny)

wmspringer (569211) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430089)

15% of a penny...now THAT's a micropayment.

Not if they round up... (1)

aepervius (535155) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430115)

Then it become a MACROpayement ;).

Re:Not if they round up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430340)

It's "pavement", not "payement"

Re:Not cheap, very high cost per sale. (4, Insightful)

cgranade (702534) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430124)

Uh... no. 15% is very fair, as compared to $500/mo. account fees, $0.07/transaction, and 3.5% fees. Really, when you look at it, for a one-cent fee, paying $0.07 per transaction is f***ing insane, so I appriciate the reduced fees.

Re:Not cheap, very high cost per sale. (1)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430142)

Uh... no. 15% is very fair, as compared to $500/mo. account fees, $0.07/transaction, and 3.5% fees. Really, when you look at it, for a one-cent fee, paying $0.07 per transaction is f***ing insane, so I appriciate the reduced fees.

I can get a flat rate at $0.30 a transaction, with a $60 monthly fee if I provide my own merchant account. What the hell providor are you using?

Re:Not cheap, very high cost per sale. (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430195)

and if you go with something as mainstream as PayPal, their fees are.. 2.2%+ $0.30 USD per transaction. Send $1 with paypal, the seller receives more of the money than they would with BitPass.

I think the whole point of all micropayments is that they work out cheaper for very small payments, but when $2 at BitPass rates is $0.30, and PayPal is $0.35, its looking like you want to use BitPass only for *really* small transaction costs, but when the difference is so small, you might as well give out more for $5 and use paypal.

PayPal also has the benefit of more advertising, and more general acceptance, and you don't need to load your account just to give out a $1 charge once.

Re:Not cheap, very high cost per sale. (0)

NineNine (235196) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430267)

$500/mo. account fees, $0.07/transaction, and 3.5% fees

What in the HELL are you talking about? This is by far the most expensive CC processing service that I have EVER heard of. That's not even in the ballpark of reality. REAL CC merchant accounts (and yes, I have one) cost about $0.00/transaction + 3.5% to about $0.06/transaction + 2.5% with no monthly fees.

Re:Not cheap, very high cost per sale. (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430322)

Hey, reply and let me know where you found those. After hunting around to replace the POS terminal where we work ($80/mo "rent"+$20/mo insurance+% depending on card type but around 2.5%) with a computer and a CC "wedge" we could only find ones like authorize.net with a monthly charge, plus % of each transaction.

Re:Not cheap, very high cost per sale. (0)

NineNine (235196) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430376)

Hell... any of them. I get offers every day. My rates are even a bit high because I'm locked into one merchant account vendor because I have a special POS terminal. I pay 2.45% + $0.05/transaction for Visa/MC, and I think 1.5% for Discover and I think around 3% for Amex. (I don't have my statements in front of me right now). Either way, there are tons and tons of places that are cheaper, too. I just turned down one guy who was cheaper because it wouldn't integrate in with my POS stations. Take a look at Wells-Fargo to start with. They have a program that integrates with the Intuit QB POS system that's nice and cheap.

Re:Not cheap, very high cost per sale. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430430)

Um, I don't know where you get your merchant account from, but you're being ripped off. The one I use is quite a bit cheaper than that, and a lot cheaper than BitPass or Paypal...

Re:Not cheap, very high cost per sale. (1)

natmsincome.com (528791) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430507)

Hmm, the I get it about 20c a transaction although I must admit it took me almost a year to find it :-) That being said it's still a pain to type in all the information for a 50c transaction which was the main point of micropayments - convience.

Thats not the problem, the problem is (1)

Adolph_Hitler (713286) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430169)

If you have alot of money you already do pay for information, and if you go to IGN.com or the internet its usually because you dont have the money to subscribe to the magazine, buy the expensive books or afford the satelite tv services. Most people using the net are college students and teenagers and in the current economy these groups of people have no jobs. I'm making $8 an hour and you expect me to pay for the internet? Go to hell.

Re:Not cheap, very high cost per sale. (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430171)

Tell me, can you complete a transaction for 0,01$*15& = 0,0015$? Just the machinery, bandwidth, disk space, CPU time (hell, even electricity bill) will eat that up.

There's a reason most charge a minimum fee which are orders of magnitude higher. Personally, I can't see how this could be profitable at all.

Kjella

peteNTdead eyecon0meter kode still wwworking (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430083)

the kode base has been expanded to include an excitement score (mynut won, or above), should anything that matters be published buy the felonious corepirate nazis' ?pr? ?firm? stock markup FraUD execrable puppets.

stay tuned. the lights are coming up now.

you know who to consult with/trust in?

that's pateNTdead eyecon0meter you morons (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430098)

sheesh. gooed thing that the eyecon0meter kode is both self-correcting, & unbreakable, at the same time?

mynuts won: give us another storIE to rate please.

BitPass press release (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430087)

Yahoo News is carrying a press release [yahoo.com] from BitPass. Seems to be promising, they process payments as small as 5 cents with no fee at all. Maybe this will be the one that really takes off?

Another micropayment solution (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430107)

can be found at www.kopek.net

fuck (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430110)

2096-- United Nations officials refuse to accept the robot civilization of Zero One as a sovereign nation. A trade blockade of robot goods leads to war.

2097 -- Zero One survives a nuclear attack -- its inhabitants are impervious to the heat and radiation and casualties are quickly replaced. Counterstrikes launch
ed against humans.

2098 -- As cities fall beneath the might of mechanized forces, desperate military leaders attempt to block the main source of energy for the robot city: the sun. The plan destroys the atmosphere and fills the sky with choking black smoke -- but does not stop the machines.

"...really taking off."? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430116)

You really don't know the true scale of business in this country, do you?

All micropayments this year don't equal what Warren Buffet loses in the wash each week.

Something on topic (5, Insightful)

Omega1045 (584264) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430117)

Since the moderators, instead of simply leaving some happy comments alone are nailing me, I will add something very much on-topic.

I think "home grown" service like BitPass are just the key for up and coming artists. Offering a service at such a small amount of money is very marketable. This is possible for the artist because the they gets such a large portion of that take. On an average CD, the artist makes much less than a dollar. That is a very small percentage @ $12 to $15 for a new cd!

Imagine a YOUNG Metallica level artist on their way up. Instead of using traditional means, they offer their LP at $2, on BitPass via MP3. They make much more per album than they would through traditional means. They don't have to sell near as many albums to be a huge financial success, and continue to make their music or whatever.

Sounds like success to me! I can think of a few local bands that I wish were still around, but simply could not afford it. A succesful BitPass style service could have really helped them!

Marketing Cost (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430159)

Not that i agree with the amount the *IAA takes from bands, but please remember that part of a bands success is tied to marketing.

If you have never heard of a band, and cant beaucse they arent marketed beyond their town, what difference does it make if they get more % back on an album.

There IS a cost to market, and the bands cant do it on their own when they first start out..

Micropayments wont help that a bit.

But like i said above, taking 99% of the money fronted and claiming it was 'for marketing purposes' is also wrong...

Re:Marketing Cost (1)

Omega1045 (584264) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430186)

nurb,

These are really good points. I agree with your point. Record companies and their expertise in marketing new artists have a big influence on the success or failure of the artist.

However, I think that an artist could hire a marketing firm on their own, or do less traditional marketing. Look at the success of the Blair Witch project. Much of their hype started from their web site. I think there will be other ways to get "big" in the future, than going through the Nazis at the RIAA.

And the real point is that if users are even giving up 15% of their take to BitPass (or some other service), they are still way ahead of the current situation. Artists won't have to "hit it big" to make a very good living like they do now. I think we are going to see music diversify much more than it is even now.

Obligatory PA Link (4, Funny)

Trillian_1138 (221423) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430120)

Penny Arcade responded [penny-arcade.com] to Scott McCloud's origonal comic on micropayments. They didn't quite agree with him.

-Trillian

Where does it end? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430136)

I can't believe micro-payments will ever catch on. Will we all be teased with only first 2 sentences of an article, and then have to cough up $0.02 for the rest? $0.01 for the first 10 search results, and $0.01 for every 100 results after that? $0.01 to view the FAQ section of technicial support, $0.02 to search the FAQ for a keyword. Hell I could rack up a $50 tab in an hour of surfing.

Re:Where does it end? Where it begins... (1)

adzoox (615327) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430202)

But what if you could earn micropayments yourself by adding to the websites you visit. IE, on /. you might earn premium pageviews for high moderation. On eBay you might earn listing fee credit or some of their eBay Points if both parties use Paypal and post positive feedback.

I honestly think this will be incentive some day for the small voice to be heard and the small journalistic/news sites to make some server/staff support money.

I actually think that Micropayments should be very small 1 and 2 cents and then cashed out / payable only once say $5 were reached.

Would you pay to send email if it meant a drastic reduction in SPAM?

Re:Where does it end? Where it begins... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430240)

Would you pay to send email if it meant a drastic reduction in SPAM?
NO!

Filters (2)

Perianwyr Stormcrow (157913) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430287)

Why should I pay to stop spam when my filters have already caught all of it?

Re:Where does it end? (1)

yoshi_mon (172895) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430350)

And what about the possabilities for fraud? You are teased with some form of header that you are intrested in and then go on to click though the artical. Meanwhile the "micropayment" has gone from $0.01 per click to $0.50 with micro-fine print at the bottom of the page informing of you so. (Or none at all.)

Next thing you know your paying out the nose for something that once was free. (Ad supported.)

The idea of micropayments is nice in theory but there are many pitfalls that must be fleshed out before I see myself ever using such a thing.

Re:Where does it end? (1)

Doyle (620849) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430518)

Dude, that's 5,000 FAQ's an hour! You must have a helluva lot of unanswered questions ;)

Pointless, and here's why (5, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430153)

We initially volunteered for the trial, but didn't bother once we heard of the terms- basically, 15%, same as paypal. Our users would have objected to keeping a balance they couldn't use anywhere else. Worse, we'd loose ANOTHER 15% because they(at the time) only supported PayPal for transferring funds. Worse, they only do the transfer when it gets to a certain size. Micropayments, macrotransfers, mean that not only are they ripping you a new one on the 15% fee, but they're ALSO getting your interest.

Call me silly and slap me stupid, but the point of micropayments was to make small payments economically viable. I don't call "three times a credit card processing fee" viable for what amounts to nothing more than a proxy service.

All Bitpass does is play "mini paypal", and that's neither original nor novel. Next, please. That technology involving random numbers+statistics looked far more promising....

Re:Pointless, and here's why (1)

piranha(jpl) (229201) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430255)

Next, please. That technology involving random numbers+statistics looked far more promising....

Do you mean Hashcash [cypherspace.org] ? Keep in mind it does not provide any monetary or reusable value to those that accept Hashcash, it only proves that a "purchaser" has spent an amount of time doing CPU work. The purpose is to artificially increase scarcity of a service, not to compensate service providers. Useful, but a completely different purpose than BitPass.

Re:Pointless, and here's why (1)

wirelessbuzzers (552513) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430370)

No, he meant the one where the tokens are worth 100 times as much, but only 1 out of 100 gets cashed. It would work quite well in theory, but in practice users don't understand randomness, and wouldn't buy it.

This is not new! (3, Informative)

DeathBunnyRanger (640362) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430167)

Company called Bee-Tokens.com has been a micropayment provider for over 3 years. they payout 80%, I don't know how bitpay can do 15% commission. chargebacks are a bitch, and credit companies want something like 5% on all non tangleable internet transactions, including server uptime etc. oh well, I have been using Bee-Tokens for a while, works for my photographs.

Kind of Pricey (4, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430174)

For items priced $0.01-$5.00, the transaction fee is 15%.
For items priced $5.00 and higher, the transaction fee is 5% + $0.50.


15% is one helluva chunk to take for being the clearinghouse for micropayments, and the over $5 fee is roughly twice what you'd pay through a US commercial gateway.

err... (-1, Offtopic)

borgdows (599861) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430182)

from the mass-adoption-is-the-key dept.

It seems the shameless-plug dept. would have been more appropriate!

Where's Visa? (4, Informative)

kognate (322256) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430242)

What I don't understand is how these companies can even exist? The credit card industry (in the US anyway) has been building itself up for years and years.

What I'm trying to ask is a two part question

1) These services are going to have to go through the same growth problems all new financial services go through. Not all new financial servers are viable economically, and it's possible that micropayments are not viable.

2) Why doesn't AMEX or Visa offer some sort of micropayment system? They've already got the basics for one right now: it's pervasive, easy to use, familer, and cost effective for many transactions. You just add an aggregator account for micropayments along with a dab of crypto and there you go: instant micropayments.[1]

-jbs

[1] the aggregator account would work like a till. Each micropayment get's tagged and signed by the payee's pubkey. At the end of the month, everybody get's paid and billed, just like they do now. The user can manage their micropayment wallet by adding/removing cash/credit (that way you can't just rob someone blind). The merchent get's the % taken out of the total of the aggregated account for processing fees. You could even use this on vending machines, cardswipe+pin and the charges get aggregated daily instead of monthly (all cryptocash emptied from this machine daily).

Re:Where's Visa? (1)

mwooldri (696068) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430327)

I can't say where Visa are but from my limited experience working for American Express I can see where my employers are at. The nearest thing approaching micropayments is ExpressPay [americanexpress.com] which is more like the Exxon/Mobil SpeedPass [speedpass.com] . The Amex system to my knowledge is considered to be in trial status, mainly around Phoenix, AZ, at this time

To my knowledge there isn't any thing else in development. But if American Express at the corporate level were to see value in micropayments and that it would prove useful as a service to its premium cardmembers (and that it would generate profit for the company and fit in with the company image), I'm sure that they'd go for it.

But as other posters have said, Paypal is quite suited for micropayments as it is, and what ever happened to using your cellphone for them micropayments?

Mark.

PS: Disclaimer: The views expressed here (if I did express any) are mine, not of my employer (American Express).

BitPass trust and legal problems (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430246)

BitPass has a prominent "Certified by Entrust" logo on their web site. It means very little. Read their certification practices statement [entrust.net] , which guarantees almost nothing, disclaims liability for almost all cases, limits liability to $1000 per certificate (i.e. everybody scammed by one site), and even calls for the "relying party" (the customer) to indemnify Entrust.

This is even weaker than Verisign's lower class of SSL certificate. Verisign at least requires a Dun and Bradstreet number.

There are far better seal programs, such as the classic Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval [ivillage.com] . That's an actual warranty. "If a product bearing the Seal proves to be defective within two years of purchase, Good Housekeeping will replace the product or refund the purchase price." "Entrust" doesn't come anywhere near that.

Then there's the question of whether BitPass is a payment service or a reseller. iBill, for example, is a reseller. When you buy something through iBill, the actual "merchant" is iBill, and if you want a refund, you can get it through iBill's customer service operation. Getting it back from the site operator is iBill's problem, which is why they take a big cut and hold back payments for weeks.

BitPass doesn't seem to be set up that way. BitPass is, in a sense, "selling money" That may create problems. Credit card issuers don't allow merchants to "sell money"; that's a loan, which comes under banking laws. Also, the U.S. Government has a monopoly on money. Casinos in Las Vegas used to take each other's chips, but that was ruled to be a "currency" years ago, and they had to stop.

Worse, the BitPass site does not disclose the name and address of the business before asking for a credit card number. They've set things up so it's hard to get a refund. They don't disclose their refund policy. That's a criminal offense in California (B&P code 17538) [ca.gov] , where BitPass apparently is located. That's good for six months in jail. Here's the law, which is very specific, so sleazy operators can't hide the required info and claim they comply.

  • (d) A vendor conducting business through the Internet or any other electronic means of communication shall do all of the following when the transaction involves a buyer located in this state:

    (1) Before accepting any payment or processing any debit or credit charge or funds transfer, the vendor shall disclose to the buyer in writing or by electronic means of communication, such as e-mail or an on-screen notice, the vendor's return and refund policy, the legal name under which the business is conducted and, except as provided in paragraph (3), the complete street address from which the business is actually conducted.

    (2) If the disclosure of the vendor's legal name and address information required by this subdivision is made by on-screen notice, all of the following shall apply:

    (A) The disclosure of the legal name and address information shall appear on any of the following: (i) the first screen displayed when the vendor's electronic site is accessed, (ii) on the screen on which goods or services are first offered, (iii) on the screen on which a buyer may place the order for goods or services, (iv) on the screen on which the buyer may enter payment information, such as a credit card account number, or (v) for nonbrowser-based technologies, in a manner that gives the user a reasonable opportunity to review that information. The communication of that disclosure shall not be structured to be smaller or less legible than the text of the offer of the goods or services.

    (3) The complete street address need not be disclosed as required by paragraph (1) if the vendor utilizes a private mailbox receiving service and all of the following conditions are met: (A) the vendor satisfies the conditions described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 17538.5, (B) the vendor discloses the actual street address of the private mailbox receiving service in the manner prescribed by this subdivision for the disclosure of the vendor's actual street address, and (C) the vendor and the private mailbox receiving service comply with all of the requirements of subdivisions (c) to (f), inclusive, of Section 17538.5.

A California corporation search turns up this:

  • BITPASS, INC

  • C2476692
    Date Filed: 12/4/2002
    Status: active
    Jurisdiction: California

    KURT HUANG
    750 N SHORELINE BLVD #48
    MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA 94043

Not really micropayment, but... (4, Interesting)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430249)

Instead of the micropayment route, I've always preferred the idea of paying one monthly fee then getting unlimited content for that fee. It's like those "adult passes". You pay them a monthly fee, then when you visit a member page, they pay the page for you.

With a pay-per-view thing, I'd always be asking myself "do I REALLY want to see this, or can I live without it?" and end up missing a lot of stuff.

Re:Not really micropayment, but... (0)

NineNine (235196) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430273)

You pay them a monthly fee, then when you visit a member page, they pay the page for you.

No, it doesn't work like that. Member pages get paid for convincing somebody to buy a pass, and then get paid for ads inside of their own member sites. We don't get paid anything for just having visitors with say, an "AdultPass" visit our sites.

Shirky: "BitPass Will Fail" (3, Interesting)

gilgongo (57446) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430251)

Clay Shirky, the undisputed king of thinkers about the Internet (well, almost) says micropayment systems are doomed in a paper he wrote a couple of months back [shirky.com] .


I have to say I agree with him on this. He makes several very good points about micropayments, free content, and how the Internet shifts the balance of power from publishers to consumers.

iTunes uses bitpass? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430260)

Some news sources (NJ.com, SiliconValley.com) have noticed how this micropayment trend has progressed to include well known services like iTunes.

Funny, I didn't seem to notice being able to pay with Bitpass on iTunes.

How about Wallie? (2, Interesting)

Pflipp (130638) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430263)

I was surprised that this never got discussed on /., but there is a *very active* campaign going on in Holland to promote pre-paid cards for use on the Internet. It's called wallie [wallie.com] , and at least we are interested to use it on our little web sale project.

Nice, but we want to buy from our homes... (1)

thrill12 (711899) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430436)

I know Wallie, I see the posters when I walk across the street.
Wallie makes it easy to purchase little things under 50 euro's, depending on which Wallie-card you buy.
But you have to buy Wallie in a store. So it will be something like:
"what a cool CD, I am going to get me that right now with wallie"
"oops... my wallie only has 20 euro's, the cd costs 21 euro's"
"oops... it's 10 pm... and its sunday... no more stores to buy new wallie"

Wallie was born out of safety concerns, not out of ease-of-use. You would rather like to flip something out right away I think, a credit-card perhaps .... ?

Credit cards... (4, Insightful)

Kassiopeia (671060) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430277)

I'm seventeen. I wouldn't mind paying for stuff if its good, but there's always one thing I run into that I can't do anything about. I'm underaged, so I can't get a credit card. Internet payments would be its only use, so getting one to the family wouldn't be meaningful either. And when I become a poor student, no bank in their right mind will want to give me one either. Nor am I sure I want to even get one, with the trail it leaves behind.

Add to that that I'm not from the United States, and it all amounts to just too much trouble to go through for the possible benefits and warm-and-fuzzy-feeling. What I'd like to see are some sort of bitpass cards that anyone can buy from a store. Before that happens, micropayments won't work on that meaningfully. Internet users under eighteen aren't that far and inbetween, although I admit that most just play CS and no little else. :)

Re:Credit cards... (2, Insightful)

Graymalkin (13732) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430291)

Most banks offer debit cards with credit backing now. You can use the card as if it were a credit card without any charges. The money comes out of your checking account instead of a credit company's coffers. If you're serious about paying for things online these sorts of debit cards are readily available, even when you're underage.

Pay what it's worth (2, Informative)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430289)

What about the 'pay what you think it's worth' model. That's what I use on my London Blog [colingregorypalmer.net] . If people like my writing and want to help pay my school bills then they can drop a pound or two. This way everyone is happy, those who want free content can get it, and every once in a while I get some support from the people who enjoy my work the most.

Agree, other people do it to... (3, Interesting)

thrill12 (711899) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430390)

whenever I go to a big shopping mall, I see people making music. They work according to the same model, even though they are not really earning much by it, and even though they use a hat-way instead of a BitPass way to get money. Some people are really interested in the music they make, and throw in some money.
There are people who, however, rather would like that only the stores were there in the mall. These people call in the local mall-security or the law-enforcement people, who make sure they are thrown out.
Now only the big stores are left. Why? Because they pay rent to be there.
You are not paying rent, or can't pay rent of the little money you earn, so you have no right to be there.

I hope that analogy will not have any place in the internet...

Re:Pay what it's worth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7430418)

Because 99.9999% of the content on the internet isn't worth paying for.

On the other hand, I wish I could pay $50 to shut down each self-indulgent, long-winded "blog" operated by a man that expects to be paid for his "efforts."

Re:Pay what it's worth (2, Informative)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430449)

On the other hand, I wish I could pay $50 to shut down each self-indulgent, long-winded "blog" operated by a man that expects to be paid for his "efforts."

But I don't expect to be paid... that's the whole point. I put up my blog [colingregorypalmer.net] because I like doing it, and if someone wants to give me some money for my efforts, then I'm happy to take it. : )

Plain and Simple... (2, Interesting)

danielrm26 (567852) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430314)

There is a culture of ignorance among regular users that dictates that anything that costs money on the Internet is some sort of scam, so they avoid most of them. Not only that, but many are still very nervous about moving money online.

Among the geeks, however, many still think that actually *buying* things online makes you some sort of sellout. I have been made fun of before for buying shareware - since the person making fun of me had the same software but didn't have to pay $29.99 for it.

Until both groups (standard users and geeks) come to accept that it is quite ok to spend money for something online, we are going to continue to see resistance to these sorts of services.

-danielrm26

Doesn't really take into account small sites... (4, Interesting)

thrill12 (711899) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430339)

Small sites usually do not control their own webservers and are hosted along with other sites.
What BitPass is asking is to install a 'gateway' [bitpass.com] to allow their service to work. They claim the service will thus work in 30 minutes [bitpass.com] . In the majority of cases, with small sites, there will however be extra hassle because of the way BitPass has to be installed.
It could even be impossible to install BitPass on cohosted sites, who knows ?

Ofcourse it's still a beta, but they got to do better than that...

yes but... (1)

mantera (685223) | more than 10 years ago | (#7430510)



micropayment has to include the ISP providers too in some form or another; why pay extra for stuff on the internet when you're already paying for an ISP.

i think it's in the hands of ISPs or someone to sort out a deal with them, so that people pay for the content they use through their ISP bill... that may entice people if there's a chance that the bill for some of them might be less than they already pay.

However, a major problem with that might happen to be privacy. Your ISP will have a list of sites you've visited - well, they probably already do - and then the folks who use anonymous services such as proxies and etc.
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