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Revolution in online payments?

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Thursday September 27, 2007 )

If the press releases and some of the buzz are anything to go by, this company is about to turn the world of online payments on its head. Is it a contender for the PayPal crown though?

Steve Case, co-founder of AOL, is launching an online credit card company by the name of Revolution Money that combines a PayPal-type money transfer service with a credit card with bank account linking options.

Users will be able to:

– Register an account for free
– Send and receive money between account holders for free.
– Request money from other account holders for free.
– Transfer money to and from your bank account for free.

It’s all quite curious – just about everything is free; but I’m sure merchants will have to be charged some sort of fee per transaction. Still, if you’re going to take on PayPal the incentive has to be pretty huge, so this will be quite interesting. If they can grab the attention of the consumer en masse, merchants won’t have much choice but to offer it as a payment option, so let’s hope they look after us all :).

Revolution Money aims to circulate 100,000 RevolutionCards over the next few months and has a goal of 1 million within 12 months. There’s some serious money going into this venture – either $50 or $500 million of Case’s own cash (depending upon which report you read); so it’s probably worthwhile keeping tabs on their progress as their merchants page only currently has “Coming soon!” – don’t you hate that? :).

Perhaps I can convince Steve or one of the Revolution team to drop by and give us a sneak preview. I can imagine it now… “Michael who? Taming the what??”

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