STEVE CHIOTAKIS: eBay, which owns the online payment firm PayPal, is suing Google and two of its executives for stealing trade secrets related to mobile payment systems. Google just announced it’s developing a way for users to pay for a host of things with their cell phones. But there are a lot of details to work out.
John Moe is host of Marketplace Tech Report. He’s with us now. Good morning John.
JOHN MOE: Hey Steve.
CHIOTAKIS: Now why is this the next big thing?
MOE: Part of the reason is that everybody else in the world is already doing it.
CHIOTAKIS: Keeping up with the Joneses right?
MOE: Exactly. Billions of dollars being passed around through some form of mobile payment all over the world. People like it, they have their phones with them. And the other big reason is that all the technology companies are looking for advantage. Every phone maker, every carrier, Google, Apple, Blackberry — they’re all looking of an advantage over what are really pretty similar products and services. And if anyone can offer something new, that gives them a leg up. And after that, everyone else needs to catch up with the company that did something new.
CHIOTAKIS: So, when, John does this become our ‘Brave New World?’
MOE: It’s going to take a lot longer I think than a lot of people are saying right now. I mean, Google’s launch with Wallet is just going to happen in a few cities through a handful of stores, if you’re on Sprint and have this one model of phone. So it narrows it down to like one guy in the Bronx buying a sandwich at Subway.
CHIOTAKIS: In Queens or somewhere in New York.
MOE: Yes, exactly.
CHIOTAKIS: So, who wins here John?
MOE: Well the banks and the credit card companies are likely going to be winners here because they will probably be a part of many of these transactions. In Google’s case, with Google Wallet, Google wins too. They collect advertizing information on users and that’s as good as gold these days.
CHIOTAKIS: And who loses?
MOE: Well, me and you if we’re buying more junk that we don’t need. There’s also going to be a little hit to merchants because they’re going to need to make sure that they’re card readers are equipped to do these sorts of things. And the more different sorts of mobile payment plans come on board, their going to have train workers, they’re going to have to kind of figure out of this whole thing works. So there’s a bit of a hassle factor too that they’re going to have to accept just in order to sell these things they want to sell.
CHIOTAKIS: Marketplace Tech Report host John Moe. John thanks.
MOE: Thanks Steve.