Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Google's Settlement System

So, is the fracas about the Google payment system just the coming to life of the payment tracking system that they disclosed in their S-1 and was reported on by Shore in a May 2004 Weblog?

In the S-1, Google reports that they are contracting out their "worldwide billing, collection and credit evaluation functions. The third-party provider will also track, on an automated basis, our growing number of AdSense revenue share agreements."

In October of last year, our Weblog commented on the IT partner arrangement again when Bertelsmann's BFS Group was disclosed as the IT partner in a San Francisco Chronicle article.

From this analyst's perspective, it was clear from the beginning that the system, once created for settling AdSense payments between publishers and advertisers (and of course, Google, too), could be extended to serve as the backbone for settling content e-commerce (and product e-commerce) payments between members of the Google network. Indeed this is big news, since a payment settlement scheme on a scale that Google can provide dwarfs other attempts at micropayments or online subscription services and opens the door to experiments with new models of aggregation that don't require significant back-office billing and payment operations. However, it shouldn't be surprising news to Shore readers...
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