Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has revealed that the Redmond Company is developing an online payment system. Although Gates failed to provide details, Microsoft would offer an alternative to the current online payment system PayPal.
However, a Microsoft online payment system will also represent a threat to online transactions via credit cards. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Bill Gates presented the company's plans to make an online micropayment system. "If you want to charge somebody $0.10 or $1 a month, that will just be a click...you won't have to manage some funny thing or pay some big credit charge, where half of it goes to the clearing," Gates explained.
According to Gates, the Microsoft micropayment system would drastically cut credit card fees. In this context, the system would permit even transactions at extremely small fees. In Switzerland, Gates described his vision of the Microsoft micropayment system as something similar to the existing payment system for the Xbox and Zune online content.
Users will therefore be able to acquire Points, and then use the points, rather than actual money for further online purchases. The current Points payment system that functions for Xbox Live Marketplace and for Zune Marketplace could provide the foundation for the micropayment system envisioned by Gates.
Even if Gates only presented a vision of a Microsoft micropayment system, the initiative might someday end up as a Windows Live Marketplace service, or maybe an expansion of Agora.