In 2003 the DaVinci Institute produced an event called the “Future of Money Summit” & one of the areas we focused on was the future of micropayments.
Micropayments are small electronic transfers of money, usually only a few cents at a time, seamlessly transacted for digital information products like magazine articles, photos & games.
At the time, several new micropayment companies had sprung to life & many felt the climate was ripe for this kind of enterprise.
But micropayments have a long history of falling flat & 2003 was no exception. If you do a Google search for “Wired future of money”, there are over a dozen articles stretching back close to 20 years. So there have been a lot of attempts & they have all run into the same issues.
There is one big problem they’ve all run into – it takes money to move money.
It’s not that the technology is expensive, or that costs scale up with volume: moving $1 between two banks costs about the same as moving $1 billion. The “problem” is that there are so many intermediaries who want a cut, albeit small ones.
Any successful micropayment scheme needs to deal effectively with three challenges:
- Low Friction (Both in ease of use & low transfer costs)
- Ubiquitous (Everyone needs to accept it)
- Handle Fraud Effectively
Even though many past efforts have failed, a recent surge in micropayment activity by PayPal, Facebook & others are breathing new life into this area of business. And new technologies have emerged that can potentially solve past problems.
Please join us as we take an in-depth look at micropayment & what we feel will become a huge marketplace in the future.
EVENT: Night with a Futurist – MEMBERS ONLY
DATE: May 9, 2011 – Monday
LOCATION: DaVinci Institute, 511 E. South Boulder Road Louisville, CO 80027
DIRECTIONS: Driving Directions
COST: $0, Members: Free, SuperMembers: Free
TOPIC: The Future of Micropayments
SPEAKERS: Thomas Frey, Arthur Brock, Mark Fischer, Rod Stambaugh, Mike Cote