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The Almighty Buck News

Visa Launches PayPal Alternative 141

Posted by samzenpus
from the lesser-of-two-evils dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Visa has entered the micropayment processing space with payclick, a pre-paid hosted service that will compete with the likes of PayPal. Payclick is aimed at teenagers purchasing online content like music and games where the value of the transaction is likely to be less than $20. Like PayPal, payclick is an online money repository that people can pay into with a bank account or credit card (Visa or MasterCard) and then use the funds to purchase products online. The service was developed and launched in Australia with a view for global markets. PayPal integration is not there yet, but parents can monitor the amount of funds their under-18 children have to spend online. For e-commerce sites, an SDK is available for payclick integration."
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Visa Launches PayPal Alternative

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Tihs is a good thing for all concerned !!

    Except PayPal !!

  • by jaymz2k4 (790806) <jaymz@jay[ ]eu ['mz.' in gap]> on Thursday June 24, 2010 @08:05AM (#32676116) Homepage
    Seems once your money is in the system its there for good

    The amount of money held in a payclick account must be between $20 to $1000 and withdrawals to a bank account are not allowed. Payclick also supports recurring transactions

    Of course you can just keep spending it online but I'm sure there'll come a point where little Jimmy wants some cold cash in his hands.

    • by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @08:19AM (#32676232) Homepage

      Yup it's a scam. and it blows my nind they call a "micropayment" amounts under $20.00US...

      I know that bankers wipe their asses with $50's and $100's but most Americans don't call even $5.00 a "micro" payment. Most people consider under $2.00 a micropayment.

      • by Twinbee (767046) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @08:22AM (#32676254) Homepage

        Er excuse me, but I thought micropayments were something like $0.05 or less?

        • by sortius_nod (1080919) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @08:27AM (#32676278) Homepage

          Nah, $2-$5 is micropayments. Play any of the new EA games or D&D Online, you buy points then they deduct it. Even Xbox Live/PSN can be counted as micropayment systems.

          Then you have iTunes, Amazon, etc with music, I've never seen anything for $0.05.

          Actually, I don't think I've seen anything for sale for $0.05 in some time, on the net or in physical form. Even eBay sets a minimum at $0.99.

          I have no idea where you got $0.05 from.

          • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @09:29AM (#32676844) Journal
            The only reason that $2-$5 is called a "micropayment" is that nobody ever figured out how to deliver on the original target(fractions of a penny up to a dollar or so) in any way that wasn't swamped by transaction costs or some other failure mechanism.

            Some years ago, there was a lot of quasi-utopian fluff about them floating around. Then all the companies in the field went out of business.
          • by mitgib (1156957) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @09:55AM (#32677142) Homepage Journal
            Fictionwise.com is a bookstore I've bought from in the past and sells short stories and books with many under $1 and I've bought many short stories under a quarter. They offer a micropay solution of their own, pay in $5 or more with paypal and draw from it as you go, as the transaction charges from paypal would make a lot of these works unavailable otherwise.
          • by grahamm (8844)

            I thought the original idea of micropayments was to, for example, charge something like $0.005 per email sent or per view of a web page etc. rather than for the purchase of individual items.

          • by Chrisq (894406)
            It might be a nano-payment. I read some time ago the idea that some sites could charge these for page access, even down to $0.0001. The idea is that they would add up over time, so every now and then your account would go down by a cent, but a big provider's website would get some real revenue out of the millions of hits.
            • by Sancho (17056) *

              There are places that do this.

              Tarsnap [tarsnap.com] uses prepaid micropayments to back your data up to Amazon's cloud. Slashdot [slashdot.org] is a site which uses it to provide subscribers with a few nifty extras, and they deduct per pageview.

              The thing is, for micropayments to work, you have to charge a large (relative to the costs per widget) amount all at once, and in most cases, consumers have to prepay.

          • by nacturation (646836) * <nacturation.gmail@com> on Thursday June 24, 2010 @01:37PM (#32680488) Journal

            Nah, $2-$5 is micropayments. [...] I have no idea where you got $0.05 from.

            Get off my lawn:

            http://web.archive.org/web/19970601153143/http://www.millicent.digital.com/ [archive.org] (as low as 1/10th cent)
            http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20011223.html [useit.com] ("In addition to true micro-payments, some sites might have midi-payments ranging from 20 cents to a dollar, and perhaps even maxi-payments of several dollars.")

            Sorry, but I regularly purchase $2 to $5 items on my credit card. Calling that a micropayment is ridiculous.

          • Then you have iTunes, Amazon, etc with music, I've never seen anything for $0.05.

            Actually, I don't think I've seen anything for sale for $0.05 in some time, on the net or in physical form. Even eBay sets a minimum at $0.99.

            But that begs the question. The reason they have to sell songs for $0.99 is that there's no effective micropayment system. A 6 cent song with a 35 cent processing fee? Of course, the *AA's want their cut, so it's not quite that simple, and they are acting as aggregator which is counter

        • by xtracto (837672) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @09:06AM (#32676612) Journal

          Er excuse me, but I thought micropayments were something like $0.05 or less?

          No, that would be centi-payments. Micro-payments is more along the lines of $0.000005
          You also have milli-payments $0.001 and nano-payments $0.000000005 or, if you feel like buying RIAA products you also have mega-payments of $5,000,000.00

        • by poetmatt (793785)

          bingo. calling 99c isn't a micropayment, it's well above that.

        • by Rogerborg (306625)
          I'd go for a practical definition: 'minor treat sized'. Vending machine can of soda or chocolate bar, an amount so small that the question isn't "Can I afford it?" but "Do I want it?"
          • by jp10558 (748604)

            Well, I'm not sure it's even that. I would argue that, at least in the US, the $2-$5 range is the "Do I want it?" range. The way I've always understood micro payments was more along the range of electricity costs/charges. I.e. most people in the US aren't interested in tracking if 5 extra minutes of TV that night are going to raise their electricity bill. And on down...

            Electricity where I live has ranged about $0.14 per kw/h and so for minutes, it's so low to be lost in the noise generally. My twist floresc

        • Dismissing for the moment the criticism of the platform itself, SecondLife has the micropayment system down - each L$ is worth about $0.003, or on average L$264/US$1. That's been more or less the same value for 5 or more years, and millions of US$ worth of L$ purchases happen every month in-game. Granted, most purchases are of the L$100-and-up variety, but the option is there for true micropayments. L$1 price tags are often added to "free" items just to keep them from being an all-you-can-grab - it's amazin
        • Micropayments are any payment where the traditional transaction fee makes up a large percentage of the payment.

          So for Paypal, a $1.00 transaction would have about 33% overhead. Anything over ~20% I consider a micropayment - but this would vary from person to person.

          It's a bit silly... I suspect they could still rake in cash even if they only charged $0.01 per transaction.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Corbets (169101)

      Not to defend their featureless-ness, but I imagine the restrictions come from the cc-based account loading. If you can pay in with q credit card, then withdraw, you get interest free cash advances.

      Or it might just be a poorly-thought-out service. ;)

    • by TheSpoom (715771)

      So they must be aiming at a different market, because the idea that withdrawals to a bank account aren't available means businesses will flee faster than Speedy Gonzales.

  • Alternative? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aladrin (926209) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @08:07AM (#32676136)

    For something that's supposed to compete with PayPal, it's amazingly limited.

    You can't withdraw your own funds.
    You can't transfer funds to anyone who isn't a family member unless they are a business, and Payclick gets a cut of the transfer to a business. (Note that I'm not faulting them for making money here, just stating facts.)
    You can't pull right from a bank or credit card. You must pre-deposit funds.

    Combine that with the fact that almost no services use it yet and it's not a very good offering.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sortius_nod (1080919)

      Yeh, it seems like it will tank. It's so restricted that you'd not even consider it for your kids.

      While paypal can be dickheads, at least they let you take cash out of your account.

      • Re:Alternative? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @09:31AM (#32676866) Journal
        Given how often accounts get frozen "for security reasons" without any form of useful recourse, I'd say that Paypal encourages you to take cash out of your account as fast as possible...
        • by TheSpoom (715771)

          To be fair, I've been using PayPal as a buyer, occasionally a merchant, and frequently a service supplier (having people pay me via PayPal for my web development), since about 2001. They've only ever frozen my account once, and I just had to call and get it unfrozen, which they did while I was on the phone.

          While I think that you should withdraw all your money daily at least (especially if you're a merchant), I don't think you should avoid it just because of their antifraud team.

          • by Sancho (17056) *

            Can they still pull money from your bank account in the event of a fraud alert?

            • by TheSpoom (715771)

              I don't know, probably. I'd immediately take them to small claims though. Hasn't happened thusfar.

      • by EvilIdler (21087)

        Agreed. Dead on arrival. I guess Visa aren't really following technology very closely, or they had their lawyers come up with the technical solution.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Abstrackt (609015)
      This service sounds like the Zune of money transfers.
    • Sure, sure, except...
      THEY ARE NOT PAYPAL.

      So at least they got that going for them.

    • by Daetrin (576516)
      "You can't pull right from a bank or credit card. You must pre-deposit funds."

      Er, sorry, but how is this a bad thing? The only reason i'm relatively okay with paypal pulling money from my account is because it's hooked to a credit card, which has at least some fraud protection in place. I'm still whittling away at the initial amount of virtual paypal dollars (or whatever you call that limit) because i'm not willing to attach a bank account.

      Why is it that i'm concerned about this with paypal when a lot o
    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      The other thing is, it looks like it handles just the buyer's side, not the merchant's.

      The real reason for Paypal right now is it lets almost anyone accept credit cards. Google Checkout, Amazon Payments, and the like are all merchant accounts and you pretty much have to be a store to use them. If you want to accept a one-time credit card payment for something, you can't really use Google Checkout and the like. Or even if you're just a Joe doing a garage sale online with eBay. (That, and many merchant accoun

  • What do people see on many cart systems, VISA and paypal to use VISA.
    How many years did it take for a credit card company to work out they could do this more directly?
    So we have a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EFTPOS [wikipedia.org] like system for the net.
    "The service is free for consumers and the merchant fees are competitive with other offerings" is a good aspect.
  • As usual, the success will be decided by two factors:

    1) How cheap, reliable and easy it is for customers and vendors to implement. If I can't put up a collection pot for pennies without up-front costs going to Visa, the system is dead before it arrived.

    2) How much can the provider be trusted. In that respect Paypal is a total mess and deserves to be shot down.

    But going by previous attempts by Visa and Mastercard, the system will be a big pain in the behind for all concerned and people will get quickly get f

    • by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @08:29AM (#32676304) Homepage

      Paypal is a mess simply because it was designed to screw customers from day one. they worked like hell to make sure they operated outside banking rules where there are laws protecting people and their money. Paypal can steal all your money and you cant do crap about it because they are "not a bank"

      People who are suprised by paypal problems simply dont pay attention or dont read what they agreed to. I've had zero problems with paypal for the past 11 years only because I know what they are, what their rules are and I play inside their ruleset. You have to play by Paypal's rules or they will go home taking their ball and your ball, chair, couch, ipod, and keys to your bank account.

      This is the same for any BANK you might use. Learn their rules carefully. Because they also take joy in screwing you.... Just deposited a $5000.00 in cash at 9:00am if I write a check at 3:00pm the check will bounce. because they process debits before payments as a lump at 12:01am the next morning.

      Banks love screwing people this way.

      • If you deposit $100,000, your bank will suddenly become your best friend. If it is a check rather than cash they will call the issuing bank to verify so the money becomes immediately available to you (and them).
        • Back when I typically had USD$1K-$3K in my bank they couldn't remember my name.

          Now that there's about a hundred times that much in my accounts, the bank managers greet me by name the second I walk in the door.

          The difference in treatment is jarring. I don't think I'll ever become fully accustomed to it.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jvkjvk (102057)

            The difference in treatment is jarring. I don't think I'll ever become fully accustomed to it.

            There is a school of thought that you shouldn't. That you should continue to remind yourself of how you were treated when you were a "nobody".

            This school seems to believe that one way to avoid becoming the opressor (when working inside the system) is to remember when you were opressed. So that if you ever do have Hierarchical Authority over others you do not use the corresponding Power in ways you would have disagreed with.

            They seem to believe the issue with "becoming accustomed" to such a dichotomy is th

      • by parc (25467)

        BOFA at least processes transactions in a FIFO manner as of some date earlier this year. Depending on your account, deposits from verifiable sources are credited and available for payment backing immediately on receipt. I haven't had a deposit held for verification of funds in a couple years. Online bill payments are deducted when they are actually paid, not when you schedule the transaction, and I've had EXCELLENT service from them when bill payments have gone afoul, even when it wasn't BOFA's fault. t

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Because they also take joy in screwing you.... Just deposited a $5000.00 in cash at 9:00am if I write a check at 3:00pm the check will bounce.

        I've been burned by this. It's illegal for me to "work the float", it should be illegal for the bank to, as well. There's no reason it should take so long. But banks and other corporations have better lobbyists than voters do.

        The whole system is designed to let corporations screw over voters. Democracy at work? I'd say plutocracy, not democracy.

      • If I deposit cash at one of Bank of America's ATMs, it'll post the same day, immediately, if I make the deposit before 8pm local time. Also, I went negative by accident the other day and they alerted me via text. I immediately moved money from savings to checking, and wasn't charged an overdraft fee.
      • Just deposited a $5000.00 in cash at 9:00am if I write a check at 3:00pm the check will bounce. because they process debits before payments as a lump at 12:01am the next morning.

        How on earth? If it’s being electronically debited sure, but for a normal paper check even if it was deposited before banks close today it’d still have to go through the clearing house. Unless maybe they deposited it at the same bank it was written from (your bank) and they did everything in-house, but that’s a stretch.

  • Competition (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wowsers (1151731) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @08:14AM (#32676200) Journal
    How will Visa compete with shady business practices; keeping money from users, putting a stop on user accounts because there's a solar flare, not giving a damn about client data confidentiality, not being regulated as a bank. These things make it a tough act to follow for Visa.
    • Re:Competition (Score:4, Insightful)

      by chill (34294) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @08:21AM (#32676248) Journal

      You honestly ask this? Of a CREDIT CARD COMPANY!? PayPal is a piker compared to Visa.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Spad (470073)

        Credit card *processor*

      • Re:Competition (Score:5, Insightful)

        by 1s44c (552956) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @08:40AM (#32676362)

        You honestly ask this? Of a CREDIT CARD COMPANY!? PayPal is a piker compared to Visa.

        Visa are honest and trustworthy compared to paypal..

        • by Abstrackt (609015)

          Visa are honest and trustworthy compared to paypal..

          I don't use Paypal for anything mission-critical but I've had far better experiences with them than I have with Visa.

          Paypal has never frozen my account for "suspicious activity" (three purchases from one company, each purchase froze it), frozen my account without notifying me for two weeks, well after I'd figured it out on my own when I couldn't make a purchase and had already resolved it, or frozen my wife's account when mine was the one that got compromised despite their assurances hers would be fine.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by VGPowerlord (621254)

            Paypal has never frozen my account for "suspicious activity" (three purchases from one company, each purchase froze it), frozen my account without notifying me for two weeks, well after I'd figured it out on my own when I couldn't make a purchase and had already resolved it, or frozen my wife's account when mine was the one that got compromised despite their assurances hers would be fine.

            I've never had my PayPal account frozen either.

            Having said that, Visa and PayPal both freeze accounts for suspicious acti

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          Visa are honest and trustworthy compared to paypal.

          Willie Sutton was an honest man compared to Bernie Madoff. Timothy McVeigh was a peaceful man compared to Osama Bin Laden.

        • by Minwee (522556)

          Visa are honest and trustworthy compared to paypal

          And Ebola is pleasant compared to Necrotizing Fasciitis.

        • by wvmarle (1070040)

          That's probably only because Visa has meaningful competition.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      I think it's safe to say that the lax regulatory environment that these internet cash services currently operate in, and the strict regulatory environment recently created in the US for credit card companies, have nothing to do with their decision.

    • By harping on and advertising on those very things that you just mentioned.

      I'm still skeptical, but here's hoping that because VISA is a financial institution and subject to regulation, unlike Paypal, that they will be forced to do things in the best interests of their customers, or that additional companies getting into this market highlights to the government the need for more regulation.

      In the long run, I'm cautiously optimistic on this one.

  • "Lobiusmoop has entered the micropayment processing space with 'shiny pebbles', a payment scheme based on the exchange of pretty trinkets picked up from the finest beaches of the planet. Integration with the rest of the world economy is not there yet, but parents can monitor the amount of pebbles their under-18 children have to exchange.

    Yes, I know it's Visa, but PayPal seems to be dominant in the online micropayment world, and until you integrate with that somehow, I can't see the scheme getting the tracti

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by 1s44c (552956)

      "Lobiusmoop has entered the micropayment processing space with 'shiny pebbles', a payment scheme based on the exchange of pretty trinkets picked up from the finest beaches of the planet.

      All money is just 'shiny pebbles'. It has no value except in the fact that other people value it.

      Better Visa's shiny pebbles than paypal's. Better a central bank than either of them.

      • Better a central bank than either of them.

        Reading this, I wonder if you have been paying attention to the economy for the last couple of years...

        There are a lot of corporations whose money I would trust more than a central bank's, and a lot of individuals whose money I'd trust even more, if they were to issue it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Wildclaw (15718)

        All money is just 'shiny pebbles'. It has no value except in the fact that other people value it.

        Not really true. The value of a currency lies in both the willingness and requirement to make use of it.

        That is why you aren't allowed to declare your incoming in ounces of gold, and why dollars are legal tender for all debt. To force you to use the currency for some things, giving it a direct value that isn't purely based on faith in the market.

        • by mitgib (1156957)

          All money is just 'shiny pebbles'. It has no value except in the fact that other people value it.

          Not really true. The value of a currency lies in both the willingness and requirement to make use of it.

          That is why you aren't allowed to declare your incoming in ounces of gold, and why dollars are legal tender for all debt. To force you to use the currency for some things, giving it a direct value that isn't purely based on faith in the market.

          The dollar, like the Euro, is a debt backed fiat currency. It has no value other then what these governments are willing to accept it as, when the population stops accepting it as a form of exchange, is when the real troubles will begin.

          • by bhiestand (157373)

            The dollar, like the Euro, is a debt backed fiat currency. It has no value other then what these governments are willing to accept it as, when the population stops accepting it as a form of exchange, is when the real troubles will begin.

            Gold is a form of currency. It has no value other than what people are willing to accept it as--when the population stops accepting it as a form of exchange, is when the real troubles will begin.

    • I disagree. My new ceramic currency is backed by something physical, therefore hyperinflation can't happen. So it is better than just about all the existing currency in circulation today. And I'll watermark my pebbles to prevent fraud anyway. Anyone exchanging unbranded pebbles will be thrown in jail!

      Get your shiny pebbles today! :)

    • by No. 24601 (657888)

      >

      Yes, I know it's Visa, but PayPal seems to be dominant in the online micropayment world, and until you integrate with that somehow, I can't see the scheme getting the traction it needs there.

      No, sorry. Paypal is not dominant in the *micropayment* world. Citation please?

  • something vaguely absurd, fun-loving, and suggestive of a shiny happy web future

    how about... hmmm... something unique and original:

    flooz!

    or

    beenz!

    (for those of you lucky enough not to live through the debacle of the dot-com crash:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flooz.com [wikipedia.org]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beenz.com [wikipedia.org] )

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)
      Note that one of the problems with Beenz was that operating a parallel currency is illegal in a lot of the world. One of the new laws that snuck in in the EU last year (or possibly the year before, I lose track) changed this, explicitly making it legal throughout the EU. Somewhat surprisingly, this did not receive much news coverage.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 24, 2010 @08:19AM (#32676236)

    No matter how limited or simple it is at the moment, I'd rather wire money through my friend the ex-Nigerian prince, before using Paypal again.

    They aren't thieves, or crooks, but they are a company with HORRIBLE BUSINESS PRACTICES, and go completely unregulated, thanks to lack of oversight from any meaningful government agency.

    So yea, any competition in this space is a welcome idea.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fermion (181285)
      Here is one thing I like about paypal. I have my account set up to use a one time pad. This in itself is a layer of security. I do not have it linked to my bank account, i only have it linked to my credit card.

      I think one issue that people have with paypal is that they expect it to be a credit card. It is not, it is just an way to exchange cash without metting. It really has no level of security beyond that. If one gets the product or not, that is another matter. I like not having to provide credit

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      To quote Woody Guthrie [woodyguthrie.org]:

      Yes, as through this world I've wandered
      I've seen lots of funny men;
      Some will rob you with a six-gun,
      And some with a fountain pen.

      Just because they're legally getting away with it doesn't mean they aren't crooks.

  • Fail (Score:4, Informative)

    by perrin (891) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @08:26AM (#32676276)
    I wanted to keep an open mind, even though going by previous ventures anything labelled "micro-payments" seem doomed to failure. So I went looking for information. But there is hardly any useful info to be found, at least not on their home page. The link that advertises "selling digital content easier and faster" for vendors leads not to any information... but to an email address. Yay for simplicity!

    Also, take a look at their page for sellers. Would you buy from this shady looking guy [payclick.com.au]? What are these people thinking.
  • Oh wait, its a direct competitor to eBay owned PayPal. eBay is already trying to come up with justification as to how "PayClick is VERY dangerous because it provides no protection against sellers who take your money and never deliver product so we cannot allow people to pay for eBay auctions with it"

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      But Visa also has the power to say, "Hmmm, This PayPal thing is shady, therefore we're going to terminate their processing account and ban PayPal from taking Visa Cards". And whatever Visa does, MasterCard, Amex and Discover will quickly follow their lead. Visa has been the ones behind PASB/PCI/PA-DSS for a while and the rest of the industry pretty much says, "Whatever Visa's doing, we'll do too."

  • I am not seeing the appeal of this service. It's not as flexible as PayPal and not as wide-spread as Visa/Mastercard debit cards.

    In fact, this sounds a lot like a (more limited) version of an online checking account. I set one up for my daughter when a significant part of her allowance was being spent online (iTunes, Amazon, etc) anyway. Her allowance is auto-transferred to her account every week and she uses the supplied Visa debit card to make purchases. Since it's Visa, it's accepted everywhere. I ca

  • by MikeURL (890801) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @12:12PM (#32679098) Journal
    I may not LOVE Visa but I loathe paypal and Ebay. I, for one, will be happy to use any service that competes with Paypal and has the resources to do it right.

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