The End Of Google Checkout
It looks like Google is throwing in the towel on its Google Checkout service, the cloud hosting payment service similar to eBay's popular PayPal service. The service will be shutting down on November 20, and anyone with an account must move their funds to an alternative payment processing service by this date.
The site announced that any merchants selling digital merchandise can switch to Google Wallet, but if you are selling said merchandise through the Google Play store, Chrome Web Store, Offers Marketplace and Google Wallet, you don't need to worry: you will not be affected, and everything will transition over automatically. If, however, you are selling physical products, you'll need to find an alternative such as PayPal.
The End Of Google Checkout: Why?
They didn't get into detail, but said on their website, “This decision was not made lightly — ultimately, we decided our focus is best concentrated on other areas of the payments space. As we begin to sunset this product, you can expect to see a number of changes through 2013.”
On the Google Commerce blog, they say that the transition to Google Wallet will be beneficial to merchants. Senior Product Manager for Google Wallet, Justin Lawyer, said in the blog post it's “a platform that enables merchants to meet the demands of a multi-screen world where consumers shop in-stores, at their desks and on their mobile devices.”
The End Of Google Checkout: Easing The Transition
To try to make merchants a little more at ease, Google has partnered with other cloud-based services Shopify, Freshbooks, and Braintree to offer exclusive deals to those forced to find a new solution. Merchants can learn more about the switch and options available to them on May 23.
The End Of Google Checkout: About Google Wallet
The mobile payment system, launched in March 2011, gives buyers the ability to keep their important credit, debit, gift, and loyalty cards in one place for smoother, faster transactions. It also has a “tap and pay” function for those locations with Mastercard PayPass, using their smartphone just as they would their Mastercard to complete transactions.
With its limited availability, however, Google Wallet hasn't really taken off as the company had hoped. You can only find the app on 14 smartphones (seven Samsung models, one HTC, and three LG), and is only provided with Sprint phones.
The End Of Google Checkout: Competition To Blame?
It may not just be that it is limited to certain phones. Services such as Square and PayPal Here, that rely on physical card swiping devices plugged into the smartphone's headphone jack and cloud hosting, are quite popular with both Android and iOS platform users to accept payment on-the-go.
The End Of Google Checkout: Google Wallet Through Gmail
On May 16, the company also announced that Gmail is now integrated with Google Wallet in order for users to send payments via email attachment, regardless of whether or not the recipient of the payment holds a Gmail account.
To do this, the sender hovers the cursor over the attachment paperclip icon, and click the ‘$' icon to attach money. Enter the amount, click send, and the money is on its way. An email confirmation is sent to the recipient that there is money on the way.
This email service is free for Google Wallet account holders, or those with bank accounts linked to Google Wallet. If you choose to use a linked credit or debit card, a flat fee of 2.9 percent is charged for each separate transaction, with a minimum charge of $0.30. If you are the recipient of the funds, there is no charge. You can deposit it into your bank account, or spend it at an online merchant accepting Google Wallet as payment.
Are you affected by this change? Does it make you think twice about choosing Google payment services in any form, or will it not affect your choice?