The Google Wallet
Lots of buzz over the weekend following a WSJ article about how Google plans to offer a online payment service, allegedly similar to PayPal, although details of the planned service aren't known.
Search Engine Watch has unearthed a few details, including that Google filed paperwork two months ago with the California Secretary of State and formed the Google Payment Corporation. Also, SEW says a person in California registered GoogleWallet.com on Thursday, a day before the WSJ story was published.
Meanwhile, David Edwards of American Technology Research, has just released a research note saying he has confirmed that the project is in development, and that Google's shopping comparison site, Froogle, is being kept in "beta" until the payment system is ready. See some relevant snippets of his analysis in the extended entry.
And Safa Rashtchy also has a note, via Battelle.
In addition to managing Froogle transactions, we would not be surprised to see Google use a Google Wallet to allow consumers to pay for access to paid content (remember Northern Light?). We understand that content publishers are hesitant to allow Yahoo! (YHOO, $36.30, Buy) and Google to control access to paid content. We would hope that the publishers realize that search engines could provide a significant stream of new, paying customers. By providing a simple payment system, Google could allow customers to easily click-through to paid content and have the payment accrue in their Google Wallet account...