We’ve been expecting Google to launch a one-click payment system for online publishers for some time now, but today the search giant is finally unveiling One-Pass, a Google Checkout-powered service that lets publishers set their own prices and terms for their digital content.
Google One Pass allows publishers to embed a simple e-commerce functionality to content that will require readers to purchase the content for viewing. Google says that publishers have the flexibility to charge for a variety of models including, subscriptions, day passes, metered access, pay-per-article, multi-issue packages and more. Users can purchase the content once and view it anywhere using the technology. Readers who purchase from a One Pass publisher can access their content on tablets, smartphones and websites using a single sign-on with an email and password, says Google.
Google One Pass also enables metered models, where a publisher can provide some content or a certain number of visits for free, but can charge frequent visitors for additional views. Publishers can also use a coupon-base system to grant access to existing subscribers. And One Pass offers payments in mobile apps (i.e. in Android apps), in instances where the mobile OS terms permit transactions to take place outside of the app market (which seems to be a direct hit at Apple’s subscription announcement yesterday).
Google says that One Pass is a fairly lightweight technology to implement on publisher sites. Here’s how it works: publishers host their own content and can upload the list of the content they want to monetize into the Google interface. Publishers then need to add a small amount of code to their website, and One Pass will be implemented.
The technology is currently available to publishers in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. Already a number of customers are using One Pass, including Axel Springer AG, Focus Online (Tomorrow Focus), Media General, NouvelObs, Popular Science, Prisa and Rust Communications.
Clearly, this format will compete with Apple’s subscription model, as well as PayPal, which launched its own micropayments product recently. Details are still vague, but One Pass does seem to be more publisher friendly that Apple’s subscription product. And this could be a big boost for Google’s own payments product—Checkout.