Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is known for its endless journey into various ventures -- but a recent revelation by one of its executives provides all the reason for optimism for its escapades into payments.
At the recent conference surrounding the payments industry,TRANSACT14 , one of the keynote speakers was Ariel Bardin, Google's vice president of product management and payments. His presentation was full of insight into the expanding functionality of Google Wallet, yet his one quip provided a critical insight on how to view the prospects of Google in the burgeoning payments industry.
In his parting thoughts, Ariel Bardin noted:
"We're in the payments business to create great user experiences. Making money comes later."
And while it's easy to think this should be a cause of concern for investors, I believe the opposite opinion should be had.
The payments revolution
Taking a step backwards, Bardin began his presentation by highlighting the payment industry has undergone incredible change.
First, mobile payments are here to stay. 42 million people made payments on their mobile phones in January, a 45% increase over January of last year.
Yet mobile commerce isn't simply just people making payments with their phones, but from browsing for products, reading reviews, or countless other thing -- a mobile phone is more and more becoming the center of commerce.
That's why investors should take Bardin's comment above as a reason for optimism.
The changing landscape
Google is creating various products and innovations that allow for an easier experience for both consumers and merchants. For example, its newly expanded Google Shopping Express allows for consumers to buy things from local merchants quickly and easily and have it delivered on the same day to their front door.
In addition, it has utilized its location based services to provide merchants with the opportunity to provide offers to consumers that are physically close by.
It's also created an option for consumers to pay with their Google Wallet card for dinner split among friends at a restaurant seamlessly and easily. It even created an integrated service to allow for consumers to easily track their packages from orders they've made with Google Wallet.
And this is to say nothing of the various innovations Google has provided behind the scenes to foster innovation in the payments industry.
The reason for optimism
All of these things are examples of how Google is attempting to supplant itself in the middle of both commerce and payments. While this may not lead to huge gains in the next quarter or the next year (or even beyond that), it could mean big things in the next five or 10 years.
Investors often look for innovation to lead to bottom line results all too early, and in the case of Google, its willingness to ensure it's doing the right thing for its customers will ultimately benefit its shareholders. And while that may not happen for a year or two or three, the long-term perspective is a critical one to hold to.
Bardin is right to asset making money will come, but it's critical to know it will be later.