Internet has opened new market ways and gave a new vision and new methods of selling products. Ecommerce was a big bang for business companies and products, nowadays, companies are investing huge amount of money to attract more customer throw their website and a real war for web sites referencing and advertising is declared. New SEO (Search Engine Optimization) methods and a real new computing field focusing in bringing new sites to top search results would certainly add more values to the businesses profits. The integration and wide usage of payment throw the merchant websites allowed the appearance of different methods of electronic payments such the use of credit card numbers, e-checks or e-money (Krause, 2002).
A specific and very special way of making donation and payment of micro amounts has seen the world couple of years ago, the Micropayment is an online payment of very small amounts. Initially micropayments were designed for amounts less than one us dollar, some electronic payment platforms such PayPal or Visa prefer defining the micropayment as a payment of an amount of less than 12 usd and 20 usd respectively.
PayPal micropayment is an example of many other platforms of micropayment, and the same challenges apply to all these systems:
– Security: it is a key feature of any payment system, any failure in software/hardware can decrease the users’ trust and might lead to catastrophes
– Reliability: the system should have a high SLA and must serve the customers 24h/24 and 7d/7 without any failure.
– Scalability: the system should be easily scalable and with the increase of demand, the system should handle the new requirements.
– Interoperability: the system should be developed using easily included with different technologies.
– Anonymity: the system should guaranty the anonymity and secures data about personal information (users’ details) (Manifavas, 2004).
These characteristics are applicable to all payments’ methods, but for micropayments as companies try to develop platforms which do not cost a lot of money in term of maintaining the servers and undelaying software, frequently micropayments are less secure than ‘classic’ electronic payments (Micali & Rivest, 2001).
– Jan Krause (2002). Payment within the Internet – How Micropayment will change the internet. GRIN Verlag, 2002. ISBN: 9783638109468.
– Charalampos Manifavas (2004). EVALUATION OF MICROPAYMENT TRANSACTION COSTS. Institute of Computer Science (ICS) Foundation of Research and Technology – Hellas. Journal of Electronic Commerce Research, VOL. 5, NO.2, 2004.
– Silvio Micali and Ronald Rivest (2001). Micropayments revisited. Laboratory of computer science, Massachusetts institute of technology, Cambridge. Available at : http://people.csail.mit.edu/rivest/MicaliRivest-MicropaymentsRevisited.pdf