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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Hey, Check(me)out at Google!

The online payment industry is on a roller coaster ride and everyone, including merchants, consumers and banks, is contributing to its revenues. In US alone, this industry accounts for $12.5 billion in revenues now, as compared to $8 billion in 2003. To capture the growing billion dollar industry, companies like Yahoo!, Microsoft & AOL have launched their own online payment services over time. The most recent to join this herd is the internet giant Google, which came up with its own adaptation of online payment called Google Checkout.

The fact that companies like Microsoft , Yahoo & AOL did not find the requisite customer backing for their own version of online payment services makes this venture risky. AOL’s Bill Pay, Yahoo’s Pay Direct and Microsoft ’s Passport had issues of security and privacy that deterred their popularity amongst the masses. However, Yahoo has made a second attempt by partnering eBay, and has integrated eBay’s online payment service, PayPal, just a month ago.

It is surely gutsy of Google to cross the thresholds and enter into a business that has not been acknowledged well by the consumers in the past. But the Checkout service from Google counts itself to be in a different league. It amalgamates well with Google’s search & advertisement service – it enables users to find a product using Google search and pay through its own Checkout service. Salar Kamangar, VP Product Management, Google explains, “In the offline world, shoppers don’t tolerate long lines and tedious data entry just to buy something. Google Checkout simplifies and improves the online purchase experience for both consumers and merchants.”

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Source :- IIPM Editorial, 2006, Editor - Prof. Arindam Chaudhuri

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