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Google Wallet: Rub our button, cough 15p for quick read

Tests the waters on pennies-for-content

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A new scheme launched by Google is allowing internet users to pay to access content on individual pages on websites.

The internet giant has partnered with a select number of publishers – including Oxford University Press and Peachpit – to enable users of its 'Google Wallet' mobile payment system to buy content from individual pages. Google has described the move as an "experiment to see if users will be prepared to pay for individual web pages if the buying process is sufficiently easy".

Under the scheme, individual articles are available for between $0.25 (£0.15) and $0.99 (£0.61) each, according to a report on TechRadar.

Google said that publishers that utilise the scheme should offer a "taster" of their material for free. It said that the preview content would be ranked in its search engine result listings based on the popularity of the free material.

"When you add the Google Wallet button to your site, users will be able to purchase your content in just one click," Google said on its Google Wallet 'web content' page. "Millions of people already buy with Google Wallet – their payment information is securely stored, so they can buy quickly."

"If the content is not what they expected, users can click 'instant refund' to cancel the charge. With this increased peace of mind, more customers are likely to buy your content," Google said.

The internet giant said that it "monitors how much a user refunds to make sure they are only refunding content they don't like, and not using refunds to get free content." The company said its offering was aimed at publishers that sell "premium digital content that's superior to the free alternatives".

Google said that its scheme is "compatible with ads" and that "by running ads alongside the preview content", publishers can receive money for ad impressions "even if a user doesn't buy the content," according to a report by PaidContent.

Google Wallet allows users of Google's Android operating system to store details of credit cards, loyalty cards and gift cards on a mobile phone. To-date it has largely been utilised by users for the purchase of physical goods. It uses ‘near field communication’ (NFC) enabling its users to make payments by tapping the phone on a checkout terminal equipped with the technology.

Copyright © 2012, Out-Law.com

Out-Law.com is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

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