Paystone shuts down online payments system

Vancouver’s Paystone Technologies Corp announced on December 19th that they would be shutting down their online payments system.

Paystone would like to thank all members who have used and supported the Paystone Online Payment System over the past 5 years. Unfortunately, recent legislative and regulatory changes in Canada adversely impact Paystone’s on-line business model, rendering continued operation impractical.

Paystone has been kicking around the Vancouver tech scene for years thanks to the deep pockets of Chairman Milton Wong. In an article published in SFU’s aq magazine in 2003, Wong refered to his investment as a major financial commitment and to Paystone as a “very speculative, very creative” real time online payment solution company.

A lot has changed in the micropayment space over the past five years – check out this snippet from a Globe & Mail article from November 2003 titled Technology firms jostle for pocket change:

…Vancouver-based Paystone Technologies Corp. makes payments the normal way, one at a time, with money that customers have preloaded into a special account. President Alan Thompson says Paystone is talking to lots of big players-particularly in music and gaming.

Claiming nearly 700 active, though modest, merchant sites, the company has real-life bragging rights. You’ll often find it, I discovered, in a face-off with PayPal for the customer’s transaction. Paystone has just cut a potentially juicy deal to enter the burgeoning Chinese market, where paper money and coins still rule-and where consumer Internet commerce is just taking off.

There has got to be some ex-Paystone folks out there reading this – any idea why an early leaders like Paystone wasn’t able to grab a share of the huge micropayments market?