June 12, 2006 9:19 AM PDT

Google's Gbuy nears launch

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Google's online payment system, Gbuy, is expected to launch June 28, further pitting the Internet giant against industry titan and rival eBay, according to a research note released Friday by a Wall Street analyst.

Gbuy is expected to be free during the initial phase, but merchants may eventually be charged a 1.5 percent to 2 percent per-transaction fee, Jordan Rohan, an RBC Capital Markets analyst, said in his research note. A fee of that size would be slightly less than that charged by eBay's online payment system, PayPal.

Google was not immediately available to comment.

"The brilliance of Google's Gbuy merchant-to-consumer payment platform lies in what Google may do with the transactional data it captures from the thousands of merchants that may ultimately offer Gbuy," Rohan said.

Google is able to gather the data when users click on a merchant's Gbuy feature. Consumers are then transferred to Google's Gbuy site, where they complete the transaction.

Google's payment system, as a result, holds the potential to monitor which paid-search results users click on and of that group, which ones turn into actual sales. With that information, Google may find itself in the enviable position of being able to identify which categories bring in the highest return on investment for advertisers, Rohan stated.

But Derek Brown, an analyst at Pacific Growth Equities, cites other reasons why the data may prove valuable to Google.

The data could provide useful guidance on where to place its sponsored links, in order to generate higher traffic, as well as give greater insight into the buying habits of its users. And that, as a result, may prompt the Internet titan to deliver targeted ads to those users, Brown said.

Some merchants, however, may fear that Google would use this information to deactivate keywords and then require a merchant to pay a higher minimum bid to reactivate the keyword, Rohan said.

But merchants may find the lure of having the Gbuy logo next to their sponsored search link too appealing to pass up, even if it potentially means giving Google a closer view into their business, Rohan noted in his research note.

"From the merchant's perspective, the placement of a Gbuy logo and the designation as a 'trusted Gbuy merchant' will be a point of distinction and theoretically raise conversion rates and traffic," Rohan states in his research report.

Merchants who are already involved in Google's Gbuy beta test are set for a June 28 launch, but those who are new to the program can expect an implementation period of six to eight weeks, the report states.

See more CNET content tagged:
merchant, research note, online payment, Google Inc., eBay Inc.

6 comments

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Paypal just got smacked
Yes, this will certainly curb some of paypal's business. There are lots of customers out there upset with paypal looking for an alternative. Here it is. :)
Posted by Mr. Network (92 comments )
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I certainly...
hope the hell so. PayPal and eBay are just to big for themselves and are constantly giving the shaft to thier customers. Down with PayPal, Down with eBay, down with everything else that miss treats consumers!!!!!

Robert
Posted by Heebee Jeebies (632 comments )
Link Flag
I certainly...
hope the hell so. PayPal and eBay are just to big for themselves and are constantly giving the shaft to thier customers. Down with PayPal, Down with eBay, down with everything else that miss treats consumers!!!!!

Robert
Posted by Heebee Jeebies (632 comments )
Link Flag
paypal
As the other writer stated about people being upset , I think upset is not the word for it , Its about time another online payment service was born .And I can not think of a better company to do it . Paypal is nothing but a horde of thieves and I really do hope they go down in a burst of flames.
Posted by bahbahblacksheep (2 comments )
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a new payment service?
I thought gbuy was google's answer to ebay? Rats! I was hoping they would take them on or at least, buy them out! <insert evil smile here>
Posted by thedreaming (573 comments )
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