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Metering (was Re: Bitpass Micropayments)
- To: xanadu@xxxxxxxxxx
- Subject: Metering (was Re: Bitpass Micropayments)
- From: Tony Smith <ts@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2003 13:44:31 +1000
- In-reply-to: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Micropayments has been in the too hard basket for way too long for the
good of many once seductive business models, so I guess most of us have
just stopped thinking too hard about it.
Maybe it's time to think outside the square, and maybe there isn't
anywhere more suitable that the remnant Xanadu community to think once
more about the question.
Seeing Ian's detailed criticism of Rich Pasco's mention Bitpass
micropayments including such reasonable assertions as:
any pricing scheme with US$0.1 as the smallest creditable unit can not
be classed as micropayments ...
True microscale charges (would have) US$ 0.0001... as the default
payment unit, roughly (perhaps) the price of any word on a web page or
Content payment negotiation is immediate, implicit and wholly hidden
from the user.
I couldn't help but think that the utility companies have long had no
problem dealing with a similar problem, but they call it metering
rather than "micropayments" and everybody knows exactly what they mean,
especially that accepting metering allows you to avoid conscious
payment decisions but still allows you to control your costs if and
when you need to.
Of course the utilities have more clout in their threat to withdraw
service for nonpayment of an account than an individual website
publisher could hope for, but a combination of tying metering to credit
cards and the kind of payment processing consolidation services that
are already commonplace could get us past that objection.
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