Posts Tagged ‘online

If you sell anything online, whether physical goods or services, you’re probably keenly aware of the 2-3% (plus $0.30) lost through transactional fees every time someone makes a purchase with their credit card. This fee rears its ugly head whether you use PayPal, Google Checkout, or Amazon Flexible Payment Service since those companies are largely just passing on the fees imposed on them by credit card companies.

Noca, a startup founded by ex-Visa employees, is attempting to virtually eliminate transaction feeds by bypassing the credit card companies altogether with its own online payment service. Since $5 billion goes towards online transaction fees every year in the United States alone, and since online vendors have particularly slim profit margins, the company thinks that the near elimination of transaction feeds would be a huge boon for online vendors. Concurrently, Noca seeks to provide consumers with a more rewarding and more secure purchasing experience, thereby making its service appealing to both actors involved in a transaction.

While Noca aims to eventually facilitate online payments for purchases of all sizes, it begins with a focus on micro-payments, and on micro-payments made through Facebook in particular. It has launched two Facebook applications to test its payments system out: OneClick Pay and HelpYourWorld.

The former provides a simple way to send money to friends. As you can see in the screenshot to the left, the idea is to send someone a digital check; you actually enter your routing and account numbers into the application instead of using a credit card. This poses a significant obstacle to adoption (who remembers these numbers or carries around a check in their pocket?). But the company insists that using checking information rather than credit card information increases security and reduces the chances of identity theft. Plus, Noca is working to provide functionality that would allow you to enter your online banking credentials in lieu of your checking information.

The latter Facebook application, HelpYourWorld, provides a good use case for Noca’s micro-payment system. Since the application solicits $1-at-a-time donations for a series of causes, it benefits greatly from Noca’s lack of transaction fees (especially the standard fixed one of $0.30). Noca hopes that many other Facebook applications with similar micro-payment needs will use its APIs to implement its payment service.

As for the benefits to the consumer, Noca promises to provide strong and flexible incentives through cash back schemes, frequent flier miles, and the ability to designate a part of your payment to a charity of choice. The company also insists that its service will be substantially easier to use than others like PayPal, and that consumers will gain access to a much more comprehensive transaction history than they would get elsewhere.

In the longer term, Noca will become much more like a credit card company itself, providing credit to users through direct partnerships with banks. In doing so, it will be able to provide users with the same benefits of buying things on credit without charging vendors standard transaction fees, which it considers mostly oligopolistic fat. To make money, Noca will also attempt to leverage its user data to target them with tailored advertising and product deals.

from Techcrunch 

8th Jan , Yahoo unravels a card out of their newly formed music strategy that is being talked about so heavily across blogs……..launches the browser based mp3 player

One more app for all believers of online app’s replacing the desktop.

Also liked the fact that Yahoo utilized the recently made public Wikia search platform to create a wiki for this project……..good going by wikia….

this is clearly just a first step in whatever Yahoo’s grand plans are around the future of their music service

they’ve released some code to embed a very simple Javascript based MP3 player on any website.

The player finds MP3s on a given web page, creates a playlist and a very simple overlay to play the songs. A small play icon is placed next to every MP3 link, and the player itself hovers over the bottom left of the page. It can be expanded to show a playlist of all files on the page (Yahoo is using the XSPF format).

This is clearly just a first step in whatever they’re doing over the long term. There are hints at monetization strategies – file names are linked to Yahoo search, for example.

Here’s how the player looks


Here’s the release

New player

January 8, 2008

The second iteration of our browser-based player is coming out in beta today. Here’s how it works:

  1. Link to MP3s in your web page. These can be anywhere on the web.
  2. Add a line of code to insert our Javascript library. We host this, so you just have to point to our URL.
  3. Working play buttons appear next to MP3s.

The first iteration of this project, which we released last summer, enabled playback of 30-second samples and tracks from our own music subscription service on the Yahoo! Music web site. It was our own media and our own site. What’s new is supporting third party media on third party web pages.

The Flash player that we recently released on is a sibling. It has many of the same roots, code, and features and it is maintained by the same team. Although they don’t look the same, in a way they are different skins over a single underlying product. Sometimes you need Flash and sometimes you need Javascript, but either way you’re playing the page.

The documentation and community home for the project is a public wiki at Wikia. Why use a wiki for documentation? Because documentation and community are two sides of the same coin, and wikis integrate them. Why go outside of Yahoo for such an important part of our project? The goal is to make the developer community healthier by making it truly independent.

Some things that are interesting about the player:

  • The interface between your document and our library is unobtrusive Javascript and semantic HTML: even though our library is Javascript internally, the API is HTML.
  • The API is fairly rich. You can set the image we use for album art. You can control the playlist sequence. You can tell us the song title. You can operate in strict mode or quirks mode. To learn more, see How To Link on the wiki.
  • We’re creating a new generation of playlist technology by turning the page into a playlist. Our player knits all the songs in the page together so that they play one after the other. The result is continuous play within the hosting web page.
  • This is different from a badge in that we don’t provide the content. It doesn’t make sense for these to always be tied together.
  • It’s different from a normal library in that users don’t need to install their own copy. This makes it easier for users to adopt, and it allows us to do ongoing maintenance at web speed.
  • If you fool around with the player you’ll find that you can click through to a Yahoo! search on the song title. This is a simple and unintrusive way to for us to monetize the traffic, and it keeps our business goals aligned with user needs because the search has to be adding value if we want people to use it.

Our design principle is: we eat the complexity so that you don’t have to. There’s no reason for a user to have to think about syntax for embedding an object. Plain vanilla links to media are all you should need. So I’d say to TechCrunch that we’re up to something small and simple.


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