Google Wallet May Debut Soon
Google may launch its widely anticipated online payments system Google Wallet before the holidays, an analyst said Friday, giving the search giant yet another way to profit from its widening Web empire. The service is expected to rival eBay’s PayPal, which allows web users to transfer money from, say, consumer to merchant without using a credit card. PayPal users have to credit their accounts using bank accounts or credit cards. Google CEO Eric Schmidt has said Google Wallet will not be a PayPal clone. Unlike PayPal, analysts speculate that transactions would be limited to ones between businesses and consumers. The service would probably not allow more personal uses, such as a friend sending money to a friend. But like PayPal, it would likely be a stored value account. By launching this service, Google would likely control even a greater share of user activity on its site. With the pay-per-click model it popularized, the company collects a fee anytime a user clicks on an ad. With Google Wallet, a consumer that clicked on an ad for a product could purchase that product without leaving the site. However, both the user and the merchant on the other end would have to sign up for the service in order for the transaction to take place, Mr. Schatt said. The money would move from the consumer’s account to the merchant’s, with Google pocketing a fee. Dan Schatt, an analyst with Celent, a research and consulting firm, predicts the search giant will release the service by the end of the first quarter, if not for the holidays. Google spokesperson Sonya Boralv said there was no announcement.