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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Google Purchases Coming?

Several people are seeing signs that Google Purchases – aka Google Wallet, or “Sierra” – is close to launch. Nobody knows what it will be for sure, but it’s rumored to be Google’s own “PayPal” service to handle online money transactions for you.

First, there’s a new entry in Google’s robots.txt file listing "/purchases”. The URL “” at the moment redirects to “”. The Google Rumors blog actually shows off what seems to be a registration screenshot. The headline on it reads “Get started with Purchases” and it then continues to ask for your credit card details, billing address and phone number, closing off with the note that “’Google’ will appear by the charge on your credit card statement.”

But in June this year, Google’s CEO said there will be no foray into PayPal-like activities. Quote Matthew Hicks in eWeek:

Google’s top executive confirmed on Tuesday that the company is planning to expand into broader online payment services but said it will not compete with a PayPal-like service.

In a company-issued statement, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said the company does not plan to offer what he called a “person-to-person stored-value payments system. (...)

Instead, Schmidt said that Google is looking to expand its current online payment services, which is largely used to handle payments from advertisers and to Web publishers in Google’s popular online advertising programs. (...)

“The payment services we are working on are a natural evolution of Google’s existing online products and advertising programs, which today connect millions of consumers and advertisers,” Schmidt said in the statement. “We are building products in the area to solve new problems in e-commerce.”

[Thanks to Gary Price.]


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