January 04, 2012

The big news that former PayPal head Scott Thompson is leaving the payments company to become the CEO of Yahoo could have ramifications well beyond search engine marketing and online advertising.

PayPal has grown from its humble roots as a mere facilitator of eBay transactions to become a giant in the payments space. Last year, PayPal announced several new payments initiatives, including ramping up its presence in the P2P and mobile space.

[Click here for more on PayPal's involvement in the digital payments space.]

Already, some are speculating whether this moves means Yahoo will look to step up its payment activities. It remains to be seen whether Thompson will seek to position Yahoo to eat into PayPal's marketshare in the online payments space. Remember, Yahoo did try its hand at the payments game once before, with its now defunct PayDirect P2P money transfer service.

This bears watching for banks, as Yahoo could become another player in payments.

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as ...