Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been working to roll out its Google Wallet in a myriad of ways, and one of the new incarnations came online. But here is the question that Google is trying to answer: If paying is easy and efficient, would people be willing to pay to visit some pages of a Web site?
Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) is currently working on a concept called Google Wallet for Web Content, where Web site administrators can set up a paywall for certain pages on their Web sites and have users pay through Google Wallet to gain access to those pages. The site apparently would give a “teaser” page or two for free, but then would show the paywall and ask users to pay a nominal fee to see the next page, with payment made through Google Wallet (which makes it similar to PayPal’s process).
This is still in the experimental phase, as only a handful of Web sites have signed on to this. Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) is encouraging the Web sites to keep per-page costs to less than $1, but if a site charges more, Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) would suggest that those sites encourage users to buy Google Wallet goods and games. Also, Google Inc. (GOOG) states that it would allow a 30-minute grace period for users to request refunds if the content is not what was expected, and Google would check the sites for their refund rates so that certain users are not granted refunds just because they get some free content. In exchange for a refund, Google is also asking sites to instead give users a credit on their Google Wallet account for them to use on Google games, products or services.
One could imagine that investors in Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) stock, like billionaire fund manager Julian Robertson of Tiger Management, would be open to yet another revenue stream. Whether this will be effective in a world where free access to the Internet has been expected, will remain to be seen.