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Analysts banking on Google Payments

Two financial analysts are suggesting that Google Payments is here. "We think in typical Google fashion that it has already been released, starting with Google Video a few months ago, the Google Store more recently, and now it appears that Google Base has integrated Google Payments," wrote Robert Peck in a research alert released on Monday. And Mark Mahaney of Citigroup released his own report summarizing his take on Google's enabling people to buy things on Google Base using their Google Accounts under a headline "A brief update on Google Payments."

Google hasn't announced a Google Payments, but did post an "update on payments" on its official blog on Friday. "There's been a lot of interest and speculation about what Google is doing with payments. We thought we'd give you a quick update on what we've done so far and what we see down the road," wrote product manager Benjamin Ling and product marketing manager Tom Oliveri. They go on to note that online billing and payments have been a core part of Google's offerings for some time, particularly with Google Earth, Google Video, Google Store and now Google Base. "Looking ahead, we want to continue building payment services that meet the needs of Google users and advertisers. We expect to add payment functionality to Google services where our users need a way to buy online," they concluded.

While Peck predicted that Google Payments will be a "worthy competitor to PayPal," Mahaney said it will be "extremely difficult to displace" eBay's PayPal as the leading online payments provider given its "96 million accounts base, strong brand recognition, extremely strong position on eBay's marketplace, and very well developed risk management, consumer protection, and fraud prevention measures."