PayPal and the Google Checkout Threat

    March 27, 2007

CNET has an interview with PayPal Chief Technology Officer Scott Thompson. It’s mostly about PayPal’s technology and anti-phishing tactics, but does have one question on Google Checkout.

Can you comment on the competition you might be seeing from Google+is+ready+to+take+your+order/2100-1038_3-6090511.html”>Google Checkout? Have you seen any loss of market share or revenue?
Thompson: …as it relates to Google Checkout, where as you would expect we are very aware of what they are doing, we don’t think they are in a payment system business. We think they are specifically in a check-out business, and there is quite a bit difference between checkouts and payments. I would argue that we have such a lead in the business of global payments that if somebody wants to chase after us a little bit, I think they are going to realize it’s hard to do, and I think they will fully appreciate and understand the head-start we have. Nobody here is overly confident, but I think what we need to do is have a strategy and focus on that and not on any competition.

Er, you might need to fire the people that are keeping an eye on Google Checkout for you. They absolutely are in the “payment system business.” I use Google checkout to send out invoices for consulting services to anyone that wants to pay via credit card – last time I checked, that wasn’t a “check-out” transaction. I used to use PayPal, but why would I do that, now that GCheckout offers payment processing for free?

Ironically, Google doesn’t believe it’s competing with PayPal either!!! I wonder how many times they’ll have to tread on each others’ toes, before they realize they are competitors?