Digital Publishing
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LaterPay offers micropayments with a twist

LaterPay offers a small twist: Readers only actually pay once they hit a total of 5 euros. LaterPay keeps a bar tab of what you’re reading, and takes a cut if you actually end up paying (around 15-25 percent, depending on volume of transactions). Accept the terms and conditions, and read on without logging in — a LaterPay registration page only pops up after five euros-worth of reading. Not reading enough to hit five euros? Those readers pay nothing — and publishers get nothing.

“We are not a wallet. 99 percent of the models out there are wallets. You need to pay up money first, then spend that money with them, within their universe,” Founder and CEO Cosmin Ene said. “We’re bringing back the IOU to the Internet, which is a principle people know and trust. The way the regular pay-per-use model works, you just click on an article, confirm to pay later, and you can read the article immediately.

We defer the time when you have to register and pay to a later stage, letting you convince yourself of the content, of the quality of the content, of the benefits that are offered to you.” (One of the analogies Ene offered up: Going to a conveyor-belt sushi restaurant — or any restaurant, really — and paying after counting up plates eaten.)

According to Ene, LaterPay currently has around 100 clients, ranging from individual bloggers with a dedicated following to smaller publishers to Spiegel Online.

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