PayPal is set to launch a new product specifically designed to facilitate micropayments — a move that could set it up as a more attractive option for publications looking to charge for content online. PayPal President Scott Thompson tells the Associated Press that the new product will likely launch by the end of the year.
EBay-owned PayPal has already been providing customers that typically charge less than $10 per transaction a cheaper alternative to its standard fee structure. The new product, however, appears to go beyond cost. The Associated Press says people who use PayPal to make micropayments won’t have to to navigate to a new page first in order to enter their account information — a process which is currently very time consuming. “The whole intent is to keep you in the experience, don’t force you to do anything else … and keep it economical for all parties,” Thompson says. The Associated Press doesn’t have many other specific details about what the plan entails; we’ve asked PayPal for more information.
The option would likely be attractive to publications that want to make it as easy (and as fast) as possible for users to make single-article purchases. PayPal is already powering payments for several news outlets that are charging for content online. The Financial Times, for instance, said earlier this year that it intended to use PayPal to power the day pass and weekly passes it is set to introduce; Honolulu Civil Beat, the local news blog set up by ebay co-founder Pierre Omidyar, also asks its members to link up their PayPal accounts with the site so that they can buy content without having to sign in to PayPal each time they want to make a purchase.
The PayPal move comes as Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has also been talking about making its rival Checkout payment service a better option for micropayments, in part to win over publications that want to charge for access to articles. That service may also be coming as soon as year-end.