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LaterPay offers first paywall platform for AMP pages
The German-Swiss payment infrastructure provider allows readers to maintain a running tab of per-article charges until a threshold is met.
AMP (accelerated mobile pages) is designed to deliver publishers’ pages quickly on mobile devices, but the stripped-down format lacks functionality in some areas.
This week, the German-Swiss online payment infrastructure provider LaterPay is releasing what it says is the first AMP-enabled paywall and subscription platform, called AMP Access.
While there are other custom solutions, such as from The Washington Post, LaterPay CEO and founder Cosmin Ene told me he is unaware of any other out-of-the-box offering.
LaterPay says it has about 200 publishers in Germany plus a few in Austria using its paywall/subscription platform for websites, and it has recently launched in the US.
For its web version, users visit a webpage, see a teaser with the first few lines of the story, and then view a LaterPay overlay that gives them the option of buying the opportunity to read that story for, say, $.05. If the user selects not to pay, she cannot continue in that article.
But LaterPay’s differentiator is that if the reader agrees to pay for that story, she doesn’t pay then, but only when a given threshold is reached, such as $5.00. At that later point, the user is asked to register and pay by credit card, PayPal or debit card. As a result, LaterPay says, the purchase decision takes only a few seconds. If the user doesn’t reach the threshold, the running tab is never collected.
LaterPay keeps track of the running charges by digital fingerprinting the user’s IP address, browser configurations and other unique characteristics. The user’s tab can be increased by agreeing to charges on other paywalled content across several publishers’ sites that employ LaterPay.
Or the user can choose to buy a daily or monthly all-you-can-read subscription, which can apply to content from several publishers. An advantage of this running tab approach, Ene said, is that it provides a funnel to convert the user to longer-term subscriptions.
The new AMP version of LaterPay works like the web incarnation. When the user sees an AMP screen on a mobile device or computer, there’s a teaser of content plus a similar overlay that describes the paywall choices.
The LaterPay paywall can continue if that article or others lead to the publisher’s website, assuming the publisher is utilizing LaterPay on the website as well. LaterPay allows publishers to employ its platform just on AMP pages, or on the website, or on both.