Google Versus PayPal: Is a Battle for the Title of ‘The Online Payment System’ Pending?

Though the news about “Google Wallet” kept Internet-related chat rooms busy last week, it did not come as a surprise to many, including myself. Whispers concerning whether Google was going to join the very slim online payment community began in March when the company formed Google Payment Corp.

While Google has given no comment on the issue, it’s obvious that the company’s creation of an online payment system is inevitable, if nothing else. For one, an online payment system could be used to process the millions of dollars exchanged among Google, marketers and Web sites that participate in its online advertising programs and content network.

The payment system also could be used to collect payments for use of certain services such as videos indexed by the search engine. Further possibilities are endless because this is, of course, Google.

The effect a Google online payment system would have on PayPal and its parent company, eBay, is still uncertain. Though the response on Wall Street says millions with Google’s shares rising $6.40 to close at almost $287 and eBay’s shares falling 81 cents to finish around $37, Google Wallet will still have to fight an uphill battle in any attempt to knock PayPal off the top of the hill, particularly because PayPal’s payment system processed more than $6.2 billion in transactions already this year.

Not to mention the household-name status that PayPal has achieved for itself with the Internet savvy; it has espoused much trust from online shoppers and surfers, and that is something Google, while being a brand-name search engine, would have to combat from the ground up.

But Google is known for its ability to surprise. After all, it was started by two virtual unknowns when, to a large degree, very few knew or cared much about the Internet, yet now holds the title as “the” leading media corporation — not just the leading Internet media corporation.

And though very few will argue that PayPal has earned the trust and following it has achieved, a little competition never hurt anyone — except, maybe, a few corporations on the losing end. But as far as consumers and marketers should be concerned, the more competition, the better.

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