Google has been offering free payment processing to Internet merchants since they launched Google Checkout almost two years ago. Merchants get free credit and debit card processing when they also use Google Adwords, a direct marketing service that displays
paying advertiser’s names alongside search results. Could a marketing subsidized payment processing model work for physical face-to-face transactions as well? Could an acquirer offer free payment processing? Not just cheap and very low margin services (where
they’re headed to already, due to pressure on acquirer fees and interchange litigation around the world) but free, gratis, without charge.
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