Getting creative with virtual cash

June 30, 2006


Google thrives on data, not advertising revenue. It’s that simple.

Sure they make a good wage out of context driven advertising – but this a mere mechanism compared to the possibilities of abstract indexing.

The forthcoming Google Checkout is bound to upset those already in the transactional businesses arena (ebay/paypay being the darling duet of the day), but Google’s desire to work in this area is not focused on the 20c / 2% of transactions – that’s just running costs and a bit of ‘smoke and mirrors’ to cover their main interests. No wonder they are about to under cut the competition.
Being able to put meaning to purchase patterns, mapping the value of objects (consumables and services) and track the worth of objects to society will give Google far more data to enable them to model the world as humans ‘see it’.

So will merchants use the service? Well, if Google are offering advertising discounts in exchange for participation – of course they will – that’s good business sense.

So will there be any benifit to the consumer? Google doesn’t have the brand trust for the users wallet – it’ll be interesting to see what customer support they will offer. But can the consumer get their data records from Google – will they be able to plot their spending habits. Will we see mashup ups of spending vs. bank acocunt details vs. Google Maps?

So what will Google use this data for? No one knows – I bet they don’t either. But if you’re a company that likes to get creative with data then what you want is real time human input, and nothing is more interesting that peoples spending habits, is there?

Google have to learn how to give all three parties (merchants, consumers and themselves) equal equity in services – the internet is about collaboration and they know that…surely.

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