Posted by: Rob Hof on June 21, 2005
Forrester Research analyst Charlene Li has some interesting thoughts about what Google might do with the online payment system it’s supposed to be working on. I’m not so sure many people want to hassle with micropayments, but her suggestions about paying for subscriptions and for new kinds of content created by individuals make sense.
Meanwhile, one reader, Brian C. Bock of Iacta LLC offered up some examples of how eBay’s PayPal may be leaving an opening for Google (although Google CEO Eric Schmidt says whatever his company does won’t compete directly with PayPal, as we surmised last week).
“My company uses PayPal as one of the payment methods for our online game service. The problems with PayPal are many. First, they annoy our users. We want to accept their payment method, but to do so, our users are encouraged to sign up for more than the payment. They are nagged about credit cards. They are asked for optional info that’s not needed for the transaction. …
“PayPal also has terrible customer service, from our experience. As a merchant, we’ve had many issues where we’ve never obtained resolution. PayPal too often double charges our users, which for the elderly and many others can cause problems with bank and credit accounts. Also, they FREQUENTLY have outages that drag my business down with them. …
“There are so many good things Google can do to make up for ‘lost time’ and be a strong challenger for PayPal.”
UPDATE: PayPal disputes some of these criticisms. The company notes that no one has complained to it of double-charging; Bock says that has happened to his customers. PayPal also says it hasn’t had a significant outage since last October; Bock maintains his customers have been unable to use the service several times in the past year.