At the end of 2011, the tech world was all atwitter about the enormous potential of “micropayments,” i.e. the ability for users to make seamless, one-click payments while they’re doing pretty much anything… you know, like when you’re using iTunes or Amazon (with one-click payments enabled).
Google’s version, Google Wallet, has been slow to really catch on. In theory, it makes perfect sense that Google would try to develop a way for users to have a card on file through which they can just quickly and easily buy random shiny objects while they shop and search within the Google ecosystem.
The trick has been partnering with retailers who are willing to allow Google to broker their sales. For most marketers, collecting user data for follow-up offers is a huge part of their business. There is one group of marketers who may be very interested in this model, however — online publishers.
The latest version of the Google Wallet is being advertised as a way for publishers to basically set up a DIY pay wall. According to PaidContent, if this blog were using the new publisher-friendly model, everything below this line would be blurry and pixelated.
If you have a card on file with Google Wallet, you simply click and keep reading. If not, you’d probably be pretty annoyed by this pay wall.
The typical price range, according to Google, will be ¢25 – ¢99. By no means does that seem like too much to pay for content that you actually want. Still, for users, it seems like too much trouble to go through for such a small payment…
That’s the gaping hole in this strategy, as far as I’m concerned.
Sure, content publishers would love to monetize their content, and ¢49 cents seems like a perfectly reasonable price point — but are you going to set up a Google Wallet account to read an article worth ¢25? I’m probably not…