I just wrapped up an interview with Jeff Grass, CEO of BuySafe, for a feature interview on AuctionBytes.TV. I was asking him about online fraud and the BuySafe bonding service. Because Google payments was on my mind, I also asked him if he thought Google has a chance of competing in the space.
He had an interesting answer about the four components Google needs to do ecommerce: infrastructure, the ability to drive buyers, payment processing, and trust - a mechanism for buyers and sellers to feel comfortable doing business with one another.
Google has the first three components, but the problem of fraud is one of the unanswered questions when it comes to Google and P2P ecommerce. Sounds like BuySafe thinks they might be able to offer a solution to Google. Unfortunately, I didn't ask any follow-up questions on tape, but I will follow up and see if I can learn anything further.
Since bonding is such a highly regulated industry, there is a barrier of entry for other companies wanting to use bonding in the ecommerce area. (Now that I think about it, BuySafe's model is one of the only ones on the Internet not copy-catted!)
Google's approach to online fraud - both on the part of sellers and buyers - may make a huge difference in how it is accepted by users. Stay tuned for the AuctionBytes BuySafe interview. We'll be launching the NextWorth interview tomorrow.