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10/18/2007
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Revolution Money To Launch Payment, Credit-Card Service

Ted Leonis, chairman of Revolution Money, told the Web 2.0 Summit that the new service would combine online payments with a less expensive credit card interchange platform.

Revolution Money, an online payment service that will go up against EBay's popular PayPal, is scheduled to launch in November, executives said at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.

Ted Leonsis, chairman of Revolution Money, told attendees gathered Wednesday at the conference's opening general session that the new service would combine online payments with a less expensive credit card interchange platform. Revolution Money is a subsidiary of Revolution LLC, an investment company formed by Steve Case, AOL co-founder and former chairman and CEO.

The new venture, which is currently in pilot stage, will let users transfer money to individuals and online merchants at no charge through its Revolution MoneyExchange. In addition, the company will offer RevolutionCard, a credit card with an interchange fee of 0.5%, which is considerably less than the 1.9% charged to merchants by other cards. RevolutionCard would not carry the cardholder's name, and would use a personal identification number, or PIN, much like an ATM card.

Revolution Money's initial distribution platform will be AOL's instant messaging service AIM. A link to the new service will be available through the AIM client. Besides Case, Revolution's backers include Citigroup and Morgan Stanley.

During his keynote, Leonsis described the new company as "PayPal meets MasterCard without the high fees." Because of its lower charges, Revolution Money will be a better payment option for small Web transactions, such as for buying 99-cent tracks on online music services, Leonsis said.

The company also hopes to have links on social networks and other online communities, Leonsis said. "We want to become for social networks what PayPal is for EBay."

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