Google CEO Eric Schmidt has confirmed that Google is working on an online payment system but cross-his-heart swears it won't be one that competes with eBay. Well, at least it won't be "a person-to-person, stored-value payments system," he told the Associated Press, in a story spotted via InsideGoogle.
So what will the system be? The attempt to set the record straight on the eBay front didn't provide any clarity. The AP wrote:
"The payment services we are working on are a natural evolution of Google's existing online products and advertising programs which today connect millions of consumers and advertisers,'' Schmidt said. He declined to elaborate.
Set the record straight? Silicon Beat says Google's got Schmidt doing the press rounds to quash the idea it might be going after eBay-owned PayPal. Given that eBay's one of Google's biggest advertisers, you can understand they don't want to tick them off too much -- at least until they're in a position to completely crush them, that is :)
Perhaps the best way to quash the rumors would be for Google to explain just what the heck it really is planning. In lieu of any real information, we're left with speculation that ranges from micropayments to a wallet for Froogle purchases. Feel free to add your own speculation. It's as good as anything out there.
Meanwhile, Whitman on Google Wallet from Silicon Beat asks eBay's CEO Meg Whitman about the rumors. eBay feels "pretty good about our competitive position" she says but doesn't mind competition if it comes since "it makes us better." All of this without commenting specifically about the Google rumor, of course.