PAYING: From Netcafes to Microcontent

AT&T and Accenture announced today that they are launching Web Cents, a new card for buying content online. Consumers will buy cards much the way we now buy cards to log into machines at Internet cafes–enter the serial number and PIN printed on the back of the card to get what you want (fantasy baseball, porno, online dating…). However there is no universal payment system, or one card fits all.
Instead AT&T will offer cards for specific providers, priced from $9.99 to $29.99.
Translation: AT&T is using its phone card technology to create some new products, but trying not to stray too far from its core busines of selling phone time. This reminds me of when newspapers became very interested in audiotext in the early 90s as a way to avoid jumping to the Web…it seems like a baby step solution (did my evil self say half-assed?)
Another story here.