Needs A SpeedollarPlan /
"No one has a monopoly in the "cashless society" -- charging
a customers account automatically each month, or per sales
event," Schwartz continued.
26th Week 2005 / A Speedollar plan is something every
on-line service needs to help customers pay for "goods,
products or services", says
Bernie Schwartz of the TeleKey Group, whose company started
Signet TeleKey Credit Card Systems in
That description fits PayPals, "digital cash" by accepting
credit card draft payments from its users and then
delivering the payments to a designated recipient.
As e-commerce thrived over the TeleCom wireless media, so
did PayPal, growing from 24 test users in 1999 to 72 million
account holders through March. Looking to profit from the
fees that PayPal collects from completing online
transactions, San Jose-based EBay bought the service for
$1.3 billion in 2002.
It was just recently that Google played with the idea during
an e-commerce conference hosted by Piper Jaffray. The Wall
Street Journal subsequently reported that Google hoped to
roll out a rival payment service later this year. People
familiar with the company's plans stated that subsidiary
company called Google Payment Corp. was in the makings. But
Schmidt indicated that the Speedollar project wouldn't stray
far from its own search engine.
"The payment services we are working on are a natural
evolution of Google's existing online products and
advertising," he said without further elaboration. Eric
Schmidt did not give details about the project but said it
wouldn't trespass on PayPal's turf.
"We do not intend to offer a person-to-person, stored-value
payments system," Schmidt
The speculation about Google's plans have raised investor
fears that PayPal's growth might taper off, squeezing EBay's
profit. Shares of EBay slipped 34 cents Tuesday to $36.90.
At the same time, investors have been hoping Google will
develop another source of revenue besides online
advertising, which accounted for almost all the company's
$369-million profit during the first three months of this
year. Shares of Google rose $1.14 to $287.84.
Since the announcement
by Schmidt, Speedollars are now offered To EBay Users own
Like Google, eager to find new sources of
income and keep its sellers from striking out on their own,
EBay Inc. is launching a service that encourages small and
medium-sized sellers to build Web stores that will be more
independent of the e-commerce powerhouse.
EBay's ProStores service will allow a seller to design a
fixed-price e-commerce site with a non-EBay Web address. The
service, which costs $6.95 a month with fees ranging from
0.5% to 1.5% of transactions, will allow sellers to link
their custom-built ProStores sites to their EBay sites. The
ProStores sites will be able to use PayPal, EBay's payment
While aggressively expanding into emerging markets such as
China and India, the San Jose-based company also has
experimented with online classified advertisements, real
estate and other new business ventures to try to maintain
double-digit revenue increases in the lucrative e-commerce
markets of North America and Western Europe.
The new service comes about six months after EBay enraged
many small-scale sellers with a hefty price hike that
threatened to dent their profits. In mid-January, EBay
warned sellers in a terse e-mail that the monthly
subscription fee for people who operate "Basic EBay Stores"
would increase from $9.95 to $15.95, and the fee for a
standard listing of 10 days would double to 40 cents.
Also Thursday, Chief Executive Meg Whitman said the company,
which ended 2004 with net income of $778.2 million and $1.33
billion in cash, may offer a dividend or repurchase some
shares. Like many Silicon Valley technology companies, EBay
has never paid a cash dividend, preferring instead to
reinvest profit in research and development, marketing
promotions and other business expenses.
"We aren't averse to returning cash to shareholders when we
think we have a strategic reserve," Whitman said to about
100 shareholders who gathered in San Jose for an annual
meeting. "But you have to be thoughtful of what you
communicate when you do that."
News 262005 / TeleCom Buy Outs and Asset Seizure
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Google and Ebay Need A Speedollar Charge-it Plan to
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