Javien Applies Content Commerce Know-How to Payment Gateway

Article ImageJavien, Inc. is a well-known provider of content commerce technologies, primarily because of its platform product, Javien Digital Payment Solutions (DPS). The technology is aimed primarily at new media companies, such as digital music sites, to deploy and manage subscriptions, pay-per-view, downloads, micropayments, and alternative billing. In late January, the company announced the release of its New Media Payment Gateway, a product that allows customers to directly process payments for their content. Prior to this announcement, Javien DPS users were obligated to work with third-party gateways for payment processing. The Javien New Media Payment Gateway represents an effort to close the gap between itself and the content commerce needs of its customers.

Though Javien has only been in operation since 2001, CEO Leslie Poole sees it as one of the veterans in the industry. He believes that Javien possesses a sophisticated understanding of the complexities of buying and selling content in the new media industry. “In this industry, new business models are promulgated on the fly,” says Poole. “We have to be prepared to deal with a wide array of transactions, like offers bundling a content subscription with a free trial and coupons—or any number of other factors. The world of digital commerce is complex and dynamic and speed is of the essence.”

Poole says that developing its own payment gateway was a natural extension of Javien’s business. “We’re taking the wealth of knowledge and technology that we’ve accumulated over the past six years and wrapping it around a credit card payment. We were spurred largely through customer feedback. Until now, companies that used Javien DPS had our technology running everything, but they had separate payment relations. They’d come to us and ask, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to have both in one package?’”

Customers will have the option of signing up for the New Media Payment Gateway through Javien DPS’s merchant administration portal. The Gateway will process transactions through Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diner’s Club, debit cards, and electronic check payments. It is equipped to accept, process, and settle multiple international currencies (including the British pound, the euro, and the Canadian dollar), eliminating exchange fees for consumers. Javien clocks the gateway’s authorization and purchase response time at less than 3 seconds.

In addition to payment processing, the New Media Payment Gateway provides advanced features like the ability to track loyalty—tabulating and awarding points and rewards to regular customers—and royalties—noting whether content has a licensing component and processing the associated transaction. The Gateway will also feature an alternative billing menu to support nontraditional types of payment, such as billing to cell phones, PayPal, and ClickandBuy. “These alternative methods of payment are important,” says Poole, “because a lot of the new media companies gear their content toward youth, who don’t generally have credit cards.”

Javien touts its reputation as an early provider of so-called “micropayment” processing technology, which will also be integrated into the New Media Payment Gateway. Micropayments describe those financial transactions that account for less than $5. As the sales of content such as 99-cent music downloads have exploded over the past several years, micropayments are an ever-increasing category of transaction. Poole says Javien offers the tools to support a variety of complex micropayment models. “If a merchant wants to batch transactions based on time,” he says, “that will be natively supported. We can support pre-paid products, which are ideal for sites with a subscription component. We’ll often see two models in use at once: a subscription to an online game, for instance, in addition to a series of micropayments within the game. We’re capable of bundling and handling that kind of transaction.”

Looking ahead, Poole expects that the New Media Payment Gateway will further solidify Javien’s position as a leading provider of content commerce services. “Our customers are looking for a payment gateway that understands the new media space,” he says. He envisions a future in which mobile technology and the internet are only the first two links in a chain of convergence. Poole sees the convergence of digital and physical goods on the not-too-distant horizon and believes Javien is poised to have an impact in that emerging market. “Not everyone is going to subscribe to digital music sites,” he says, “but they will still go to concerts, buy DVDs and posters. Digital merchants cross-selling physical goods is the next wave coming in—it’s a kind of convergence you don’t usually hear about. Javien is helping to cultivate that market. It’s another exciting chapter.”