Checkout Google Checkout
Google launched their system of online payment service yesterday 29 June 2006. Google Checkout is presently only available in the U.S.A. and with any luck Google will bring the service to the international market.
Google Checkout offers secure transaction processing for purchasing from web stores. This could be the killer app of 2006 as it will provide choice for those who cannot or do not want to tie themselves into costly credit card merchant accounts. The attractiveness of Google Checkout for buyers will be simplicity. My hope once they move into Europe is that the sign up process is slicker than PayPal.
The early gossip is that Google Checkout could be the facility that knocks PayPal off its No.1 perch. The question we ask is, what will drive PayPal buyers to cross over or will the two systems co-exist somehow? PayPal membership is huge and it is already well entrenched in the online payments sector and has been for a some time now. What will be interesting to watch is how Google Checkout is going to compete in the online auction world. (Ebay currently runs with Paypal)
“Technology is shifting power away from the editors, the publishers, the establishment, the media elite. Now it’s the people who are taking control.” – Rupert Murdoch, talking about MySpace.
In all probability this may not be a person-to-person payment system for a while. As a result of all the global obsessions surrounding tax and money laundering there still is no easy way to send money to other people who don’t own an online business, and there is very little to beat the “convenience” (albeit bulky) of PayPal’s payments to anyone with a valid e-mail address.
For my part I am excited to see how soon global person to person payment facilities become realty. Maybe Google will be the catalyst that truly launches a more peer conscious and more modern era of capitalism – the peer-democracy driven economy. Hopefully real freedom will soon dissolve the global authoritarian approach to money markets.
Soon we could all be Googling money to our children and friends and others. Cool thought? I think so.
It’s up to us and the new upcoming generation of economists to change things to make the world a better place.