Published: 20 March 2000
Analyst(s): Ellen P. Walsh
Early micropayment systems failed, mostly due to ease of use. A second generation of digital payments systems offers more functionality and is better integrated with merchant systems. A variety of digital payment methods such as ISPs, credit card aggregators, and phone bill payments promise to make this market take off. Consumers can now feasibly pay for small-value items (usually under US$20) with minimal effort. Merchants who were giving away small-value items, such as music, single articles, and many other items can now effectively charge the consumer. Giving consumers a way of paying for purchases easily, just as they use cash in the physical world, opens the possibility to greatly increase online purchasing of small-value items.
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