Micropayments originally came into being around the 1990s . As the name suggests , this refers to extremely small amounts being transferred online through web protocols.

At that time online payments were expensive and the challenge was to make micropayment feasible for billing for online media publishing which meant restricting the cost to a bare minimum . While Paypal defined a micropayment as an online payment of less than 5 GBP , Visa defined it as less than 20 AUD. However , IBM Micropayments that came about around 1999 enabled payments less than one cent.

This could well have been the revolution that enabled e-commerce. However , research was stopped across IBM , Compaq but the link below traces the roots to todays payment wallets , API based payments and commerce pull push to all research around Micropayments.

While the term has stayed on , and we still refer to small payments as micropayments , the term itself refers to a league of patented technology and research done around reducing the cost of online payments.

For further reading :

  1. https://www.w3.org/ECommerce/Micropayments/
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micropayment



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