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Google plans micro-payment system for online content

Google has firmed up plans to corner the lion's share of the growing micro-payments and transaction platforms pie in the online world.

The web search giant is reported to be developing a payment system for news media which will allow publishers to charge readers for viewing online content. This was revealed in a submission made by Google to the Newspaper Association of America, as a response to its request for proposals to develop a payment system for online news content.

The tech giant and its news-aggregation service has long been the target of the newspaper industry for profiting from third-party online content and providing free access to readers. But the new payment system may come as a boon to publishers who have been grappling for many years now with falling revenues.

This Google move comes just a month after the News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch announced that all its major newspapers – including the Times and the Sun – would start charging for online content by the end of June 2010.

According to Google, its micro-payment system would be operational within a year and is expected to accept payments for amounts as small as one cent to several dollars. The company would get a small percentage from the revenue for running the transaction. Google Checkout, Google's existing payment tool launched in 2006, is the likely base for the development of the planned micro-payment system.

Google believes that while advertising would remain the main source of revenue for online publishers, payments for viewing online content can emerge as a significant source of additional revenue.

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