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More Fun with Google Wallet

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.

Reader Comments

W. Logan

June 21, 2005 9:29 PM

Your sentiments hit the PayPal issue on the head. Don't be surprised to see a PayPal backlash not so much due to them but because eBay almost seems out of control trying to please stockholders. The latest price increases were insensitive causing alienation. After that stunt alone I found myself disliking the company I once admired because of a perception of greed.. I eagerly look forward to Google's foray into another area.

TattooFlash.Info Webmaster

June 22, 2005 2:29 AM

I couldn’t agree more with the comments about PayPal. On top of the problems mentioned already PayPal also is breaking promises they make (Promised refunds after the last big outage just being one example) and they don't bother to inform their users about any technical problems they have until it is too late.
Our page ( has a small online shop with less than 5K$ turnover per month and we experience the full force of ignorance PayPal shows for small businesses.
No matter with what kind of product Google enters the market, a lot of "us" will embrace it.

Antti Larvala

June 22, 2005 4:54 AM

Google Wallet is great idea in general, easing up transactions over internet. My concern is how to ensure people to trust online payments, when there are several credit card online frauds during the past months.

Another issue is local payment options outside USA. Most of the biggest US companies have not heard other options of micropayments developed in Scandinavia or Europe. This issue has to be tackled, if Google wants to get better grip in Europe and offer local variants for end users and retail shops.

Carol Anne Ogdin

June 23, 2005 12:36 PM

PayPal's Customer Service is non-existant. I tried to use them as a payment collection source for a new business, and they were utterly nonresponsive to our questions. We chose another vendor. Power corrupts...absolute power corrupts absolutely. I look forward to PayPal having some competition.

Ken Danieli

June 23, 2005 12:57 PM

I've always found that PayPal works great for person-to-person payments, for subcription payments and receipts, and for buying from companies that sell though other sites, like eBay. I've never had a problem with it and I've been using it for a lot of years.

I don't really see a need for a separate wallet program -- and I've tried several of them over the years, including MSN Wallet and eWallet. I mostly just tried those to take advantage of lucrative trial offers. I've used a password and form-filling identity utility to store my information locally for years and I use PayPal frequently to make my other payments.


July 1, 2005 11:20 PM

It looks like Google is planning to launch a "Google Store".

- free hosting
- free stats (URCHIN)
- easy to set up payment system (the Google Wallet)
- products can be exported to Froogle
- free £20 voucher for adwords..
- account set for adsense
- free gmail account to receive orders in your mailbox ...
- search facilities
- etc ...

It would be the perfect integration platform for Google.



September 1, 2005 9:56 PM

It wouldn't take much for Google to take over the market:

a) Have a quick-running site
b) Have helpful Help & Tech (how's that for a concept!)
c) Not gouge users for low-dollar items
d) Not steal ~5% for currency conversion

eBay / PayPal is so money-hungry, they are alienating too many users, who only use them due to a lack of viable alternatives. Even offering a merely EQUAL service will have many users toasting their PayPal accounts within hours. It doesn't matter what kind of lead you have in the field. If you annoy your clientele, you WILL lose.

- Jason

S G Sparks

February 22, 2006 4:55 PM

I am a former paypal user and can tell you a few things about their keeping with their TOS (Terms Of Services) they state that there is a 45 day period in which chargebacks can be made after that time no chargebacks cannot be made but they did a chargeback after 60 days on me for a user that got the product then claimed he never recieved it his was done on an online store and he has done this to a few people there and has gotten away with this practice Thats why I left paypal cause they do not live up the TOS and charge exorbant fees for transactions in my opinion we need a better payment service that holds with the TOS and inforces their rules also lower fees

Learn Investment Man

February 23, 2006 6:22 PM

PayPal must Die, i hate their status confirmation process. Even for Canada its hard to be approve your address and credit card to become a Verified member

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