Google Dumping Checkout for Online Purchases
Google's Checkout tool, which allows customers to make purchases of services or physical goods from online vendors, is being dropped by the company as of Nov. 20.
Created by Google in 2006, the service has outlived its usefulness for the search giant and will end as the company plays up and expands its related Google Wallet payment services, according to a May 20 post by Justin Lawyer, senior product manager for Wallet, on The Google Commerce Blog.
"Today, we're letting Web merchants know that in six months, Google Checkout will be retired as we transition to Google Wallet—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," wrote Lawyer.
Online merchants who are using Checkout to accept payments for goods and services will be required to find another payment service to handle their transactions, according to a support page for the service.
"Google is not offering a replacement processing solution for physical goods and services," according to the company. "We've partnered with three premier players in the payments industry to offer alternatives for your e-commerce needs," including Braintree Payments for payment processing, Shopify for hosted online storefronts and Freshbooks for email invoicing.
"We recognize this transition may be difficult; it impacts you and your business," wrote Google. "We're committed to helping you with a smooth transition. While we are unable to offer a direct replacement for Google Checkout, we are continuing to invest in a variety of exciting new payments products to meet real-world needs for both buyers and sellers."
The upcoming demise of Checkout comes just a week after Google's other payment services product, Google Wallet, announced several related upgrades for its services, including the addition of an Instant Buy API that allows merchants to make it easier and faster for shoppers to buy items using Android apps and Websites. The Wallet Objects API was also just introduced to give merchants the ability to engage their customers with loyalty offers and other benefits for shopping with them.
Merchants will be able to continue to accept payments using Google Checkout until Nov. 20. Google is hosting a live Webinar for online merchants at 1 p.m. ET on May 23 to detail more about the shutdown of Checkout. The company has also established a merchant Help Center.
Merchants who already use Wallet, including apps developers who sell through Google Play, the Chrome Web Store and Google's Offers Marketplace, "will continue to be supported and will automatically transition to the Google Wallet Merchant Center in the next few weeks," wrote Lawyer.
Just last week, Google announced that it has integrated its Wallet payment services with Gmail, allowing users to safely and securely send money to a recipient in an email. The service, which allows up to $10,000 to be sent in a single transaction, works even if the recipient does not have a Gmail address. The cash transfer is free if a user's bank account is linked to a Wallet account or if the sender uses a Google Wallet balance. Users incur an additional 2.9 percent transaction fee when using a credit or debit card, with a minimum fee of 30 cents. There are no fees to recipients when they get their funds, according to Google.
So far, the money-sending service is available only in Gmail on desktop machines, but it can also be sent from Wallet using a smartphone or laptop. Smartphone and laptop users will have to set up Wallet to send and receive money.
The new service is not yet available to all users, but will be rolled out over the coming months to all U.S. Gmail users over 18 years old.