paypal TechCrunch reports that PayPal has just introduced a new “micropayment” product, significantly slashing PayPal fees for purchases under $12. At the moment, a $1.00 transaction would involve a PayPal fee of 33 cents, but under the new system it would just be 10—5% of the transaction plus 5 cents. Partners for this new payment scheme include PayPal,, and a number of others.

I’m not sure that this system could really be called “micropayment”, given that the idea behind a micropayment has been a payment of a penny or two at a time—sending a penny under this scheme would still end up costing five more pennies. But this “minipayment” system will still help a lot in terms of making payment for cheap digital items much less expensive in transaction fees.

Cheap digital items such as movies, music, software…or e-books. For that matter, the Financial Times claims 189,000 digital subscribers, and is using PayPal for its subscription payments.

And another new feature could help people who want to self-publish e-books on their own web sites:

PayPal also announced embedded payments, which allows developers to insert direct purchases on any site, including Facebook with only a few lines of code. So purchasers can just click the “Pay with PayPal” button and checkout without having to leave the page. The company demoed the product using a Payvment storefront on Facebook.

While I”m not sure how great an impact it will have on the overall e-book market, it will undoubtedly help smaller independent publishers at least to some extent.


  1. I had seen this ’embedded payment’ already on one site. I found it a bit scary, because how can you chack that it is really Paypal and not a scam that tries to get your Paypal password. With the normal Paypal system you can check the address bar, but with embedded there is no way to check other than to look in the HTML source code. If the page is on a well-known shop you can trust on the shop’s reputation but if this is used on small independent publishers what can you do?

  2. The new system seems to be a major advance for self publishing for sure.

    However imho for what is needed to launch a new era of online newspaper/magazine publishing, it’s not what is needed.

    Newspaper/Magazine need a micropayment system that charges something of the order of 2cents per page view but does NOT charge the customer each time it is incurred – instead it needs to accumulate against a monthly bill or accumulate against a pre charged balance. If someone can get that sorted, then I am convinced that the online newspaper/magazine reading sector can at last surge into the 21st Century.

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