California online micropayments firm BitPass has shuttered its operations and has informed its merchant and consumer customers that their accounts will be closed at the end of the week.
The BitPass micropayments systems - which launched in December 2003 - was used for purchasing digital content. The firm consequently secured almost $12 million funding and signed deals with Royal Bank of Scotland and MSN.
Just earlier this month Bitpass acquired substantially all the assets of Yaga, a developer of payment and accounting software for online content providers.
But in an e-mail to customers dated 19 January Bitpass says it is discontinuing operations "due to circumstances beyond out control".
All Bitpass customers have until 26 January to spend any remaining funds in their accounts before they are closed down.
Bitpass says e-commerce firm Digital River will be responsible refunding all unspent funds to account holders.