Centavos digitales

Los “micropagos” representan apenas el 2,8% del total de ventas en la web y están formados por las transacciones de menos de 5 dólares. Apple logró, a través de la venta de canciones on line para sus reproductores iPod, que las ventas de menos de un dólar se hicieran muy populares. Pero otras empresas, como la americana Peppercoin (www.peppercoin.com ), han desarrollado la tecnología para que se pueda pagar on line otros items menores, como el parquímetro por ejemplo.

Aunque 2,8% no sea un porcentaje que impresione, esa pequeña porción representa un mercado de 14.100 millones de dólares en todo el mundo y crece rápidamente a medida que la gente se acostumbra a pagar por contenido que solía ser gratuito.

La distribución de libros, artículos, ringtones y videos musicales florece en todas partes y Gartner estima que para 2015 los micropagos representarán un volumen cercano a los 60.000 millones de dólares.

Monederos celulares

Pero para que esa predicción se realice es necesario que el empuje decisivo a los micropagos lo de un dispositivo cada vez más familiar: el celular. Las grandes esperanzas están cifradas en la convergencia de la tecnología móvil y el canal de venta on line. En otras palabras, en qué y cuánto se pueda comprar desde un teléfono celular.

La razón es que en los EEUU se han vuelto considerablemente populares las tarjetas de crédito “sin contacto” (contact-less cards), es decir las que utilizan un microchip, en lugar de la tradicional banda magnética.

Al entrar en proximidad de un lector especial ubicado en el comercio al que ingresa el dueño de la tarjeta, el chip de activa y su información es leída por radiofrecuencia automáticamente. No hace falta pasar la tarjeta por el lector.

La novedad es que la misma tecnología se puede aplicar a un teléfono celular para efectuar los pagos sin tarjeta, convirtiendo al aparato en una virtual billetera electrónica.

Bill tenía razón

El problema para la generalización de esta tecnología son las dudas que despierta con respecto a la seguridad y privacidad de los datos cargados en el chip, incluyendo datos personales, y es el motivo por el que muchos expertos desconfían que el sistema pueda volverse extremadamente popular.

Pero, con una tecnología u otra, lo más probable es que el sueño de Bill Gates de una microcomputadora que se pudiera llevar en el bolsillo para efectuar pagos menores, como la compra de las entradas para el cine, se vuelva realidad.

Los microventas en Internet parecen ser el futuro de muchas empresas. Ya sea para proveer la tecnología para realizar los pagos, como hacen Peppercoin o la californiana Bit Pass (www.bitpass.com ), o para ofrecer productos de bajo valor en Internet, el mercado ofrece oportunidades para todos.

¿Ya pensaron qué podrían vender?

Eduardo Remolins

Artículo publicado en La Capital

50 pensamientos sobre “Centavos digitales”

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