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How to businesses do micro transactions?


Lets use itunes as an example. They sell individual mp3s for .99 cents or sometimes even .49 cents. When using a payment processor such as braintree or stripe that charge a .30 cent fee on each transaction. This obviously wouldn’t be viable to take that out of each transaction. I’m assuming they batch process either once a week or once a month. Am i correct in thinking this? How would i do it using a payment processor such as the ones listed above? Would i somehow validate that the card has money on it and then just save the card info to batch later? Would this show up as only 1 transaction to the processors? Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


Paypal does have a different transaction setup for micropayments. Which is a rate of 5% + $0.05 for purchases that are $10 or less. See more details here:

I’m not sure how it works with Braintree though, but I would hope that you could still use micropayments.

Another option would be to somehow allow your customers to load funds in larger amounts (i.e. $20+) onto their account, and then just deduct from their account when they make purchases. Not really sure what would be involved with building something like that though.


Oh i didnt think about that second option. I think i could build that out. thanks!


I’m sure you solved this as this thread was created three years ago, but for future users you could also tally up their balance in the backend and set up a conditional after each purchase that "when users fees are equal to or greater than “X”, run charge workflow.

“X” being whatever number you are comfortable with being charged at ($10, $20, $100)