Google Wallet to Start Accepting Micropayments

Google Wallet to Start Accepting Micropayments

Google Wallet has set up a pay as you go system for web users who want individual premium articles.

Google has started accepting micropayments through its website for online content. Internet users can now pay for content on individual pages of website, providing an alternative to full subscriptions.

The company have collaborated with a number of publishers to enable users to buy content from individual pages, including Oxford University Press and Peachpit.

Currently the company are viewing the move as a trial, saying they want to “experiment to see if users will be prepared to pay for individual web pages if the buying process is sufficiently easy”.

Under the micropayment scheme, users will be able to view individual web pages or articles for between $0.25 and $0.99 each. Google has recommended that publishers offer readers a sample of the material as a free taster, and that the popularity of the free sample would affect the page’s rankings in Google search engine result listings.

This is a new direction for Google’s mobile payment service which, although still relatively new, has become a popular payment system. Android users currently use Google Wallet to store details of credit cards, gift cards and loyalty cards, and access them from their cell. Users also use the service for the payment of physical goods, rather than online transactions. This is thanks to the company’s use of near field communication, which enables users to make payments by tapping their phone against an adapted checkout or terminal.

Google discussed the move in the following statement on the Google Wallet website, which encouraged content publishers to consider signing up to the scheme:

“When you add the Google Wallet button to your site, users will be able to purchase your content in just one click. Millions of people already buy with Google Wallet — their payment information is securely stored, so they can buy quickly. If the content is not what they expected, users can click ‘instant refund’ to cancel the charge. With this increased peace of mind, more customers are likely to buy your content.”

Once users have purchased content, they can keep it for an unlimited amount of time. Explaining the service was aimed at publisheds who produced “premium digital content that’s superior to the free alternatives” the company moved to quell concerns that users might exploit the system to gain access to premium content for free. Under the service, it “monitors how much a user refunds to make sure they are only refunding content they don’t like, and not using refunds to get free content.”

The scheme is also good news for content publishers who run ads, as you can run adverts alongside preview content and still earn money for impressions, even if the user doesn’t end up buying the content.

What do you think about Google’s micropayment proposal? Would you pay to read individual articles on premium content sites? Tell us in the comments below.

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