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google checkout Archive
This evening I received the below email from Google – they have announced that in early 2012 (no firm date provided), Google Checkout will be merged into the new Google Wallet service. Chris Ziegler at Verge posted about this announcement a few hours ago as well.
We just moved off of Google Checkout (and Paypal) at CloudContacts earlier this month. I will eventually post about why but the short version is that I found that our customers were a bit confused as to what exactly are the payment options on both Google Checkout and Paypal. Also, to use Google Checkout you need a Google account and I didn’t want any barriers to sales – not everyone has a Google account and forcing a potential customer to create one before the purchase was a big barrier. In case you are interested, we are now using Stripe for our transactions and in the first two weeks since the conversion went live, I have been extremely pleased with their service.
Here is the full email I received (URLs removed for clarity):
Thank you for using Google Checkout. We’re writing about an important change coming to Google Checkout over the next few months – Google Checkout is becoming part of Google Wallet. To help you learn more about this transition, we’ll be hosting a webinar.
Please note that space in the webinar is limited, but we’ll have a recording posted for those who aren’t able to attend.
Google Wallet is a virtual wallet that securely stores payment information and makes paying fast both online and in-store. On the web, buyers simply click a Google Wallet button to make quick and secure purchases with their saved payment information. Buyers can also use the Google Wallet mobile app to make purchases at thousands of retail store locations with just a tap of the phone.
Google Checkout buyers will now manage all Google Checkout and Google Wallet orders at (redacted). Buyers will be able to make purchases with their existing accounts at sites that accept either Google Checkout or Google Wallet.
At this time, there’s no action required from you. In early 2012, we’ll ask merchants, organizations and developers who use Google Checkout to sell items or collect donations to change any website text that talks about Google Checkout to Google Wallet. No additional integration or other technical updates will be necessary. If you use Google Checkout through a third party shopping cart, your cart provider will make any necessary changes.
If you have questions or want to learn more, please attend or view our webinar and visit our website. We’re looking forward to bringing these new Google Wallet features to your customers and will email you again in the next few months to let you know when to expect the Google Wallet button.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been keeping track of the different ways each Google service handles login procedures. I would have thought that once I am “cookied” by a Google service that all services would authenticate my session in the same manner — this is not the case. Below are some of the Google services and what happens when I attempt to load the service assuming that I am already cookied.
- Gmail – takes me right into my mailbox with no login screen
- Google Checkout – forces me to enter my password each time but displays my username
- Feedburner – takes me directly into the my main list of managed feeds
- Google AdSense – displays a login page but the login box is missing and a “waiting” note and then I am taken directly into my account
- Google AdWords – takes me directly to my management screen
- Google Webmaster – displays a similar screen to Google AdSense but I am forced to click the login button but am never prompted for a password
- iGoogle – takes me directly to my customized home page
- YouTube - clicking upload takes me directly to the upload screen
- Google Reader – takes me directly to my RSS feeds
- Orkut - takes me directly to my account management page
- Google Groups – takes me to my groups management page
- Google Docs – takes me directly to my documents management page
- Google Calendar – takes me directly to my calendar
- Blogger – forces me to login using my Google account information
At first I was thinking that it’s great that Google forces me to enter my password when I want to process orders for my startup in Google Checkout. But if that’s the case, shouldn’t Google AdSense follow the same authentication pattern? What about Google Docs and Calendar – documents in both of those services could be just as sensitive as financial information in Google Checkout/AdSense or AdWords.
Continue reading “Why Doesn’t Google Consolidate Login Procedures?” »
The Google Checkout team has announced some major changes to the fee structure for merchants using the Google Checkout payment processing system. The new pricing appears to match the pricing by competitor PayPal.
Andy Beal has a good overview of the changes which he calls, "worse, worser and even worser". Here is the new fee tier structure based on monthly sales:
- less than $3,000 – 2.9% + $0.30
- $3,000 – $9,999.99 – 2.5% + $0.30
- $10,000 – $99,999.99 – 2.2% + $0.30
- $100,000 or more – 1.9% + $0.30
To give you an idea, as of today, here’s what you pay: 2% + $0.20 per transaction. While Google makes out that customers may see a decrease, I doubt the percentage is that high for customers with over $100,000 a month in sales.
The other news is that the fee credit provided by purchasing AdWords is also going to be removed. When I signed up for Google Checkout last month, I was pleasantly surprised to see the fee credit. It’s certainly disappointing to see the credit removed – wonder how that will impact AdWords sales which in turn will affect AdSense publishers.
Also, if your customer is located in another country, you will need to tack on another 1% fee on the purchase amount.
Update: Rich has a good overview of the changes from a UK perspective.
About 5 years ago, I wrote a paper about the amounts of data credit centers have about each one of us. Last week there was some talk about Google and their new privacy policies around search data. Coming back from SXSW, I started to think about how much information Google actually has on each of us that use their services and have a Google account. Let's take a look, shall we? The assumptions here are that you have a Google account and that they log everything. Twitter-format.
- If you use Adwords, they know your marketing plan and they know your purchasing patterns.
- If you use Adsense, they know which of your sites makes money (though we know nothing sadly), they know how to target which ads to your site, they know how much to payout and how much to keep.
- If you use Alerts, they know what topics are important to you.
- If you use Analytics, they know which sites you control and/or monitor, how those sites are doing and every trend possible.
- If you use Blogger, they know what you write about. Every word, every phrase, every out and in link.
- If you use Calendar, they know where you have been, are, and plan to be.
- If you use Catalog search/Froogle, they know what items are of interest to you and which items you actually purchase.
- If you use Checkout, they know all of your personal information: name, address, phone, credit card, ccid.
- If you use Desktop, they know what you have on your PC.
- If you use Docs and Spreadsheets, they know that you are writing a paper on 13th century france, and your checking account is $30 overdrawn.
- If you use Earth, they know where on the planet you desire to research.
- If you use Finance, they know what stocks (and other instruments) you own, which you monitor, and which trends you follow.
- If you use Gmail, they know everything. Yep, everything.
- If you use Groups, they know you have a fetish for rare steaks and love art from Paris.
- If you use Image search, they know that you like Britney Spears and you have a craving for chocolate babaka and cat photos.
- If you use Local search, they know where you are now, and what you are interested in.
- If you use Maps, they know where you might be, where you might be going, where you have been.
- If you use Search (any Google search), Google knows every search you have ever made.
- If you use Talk, they know who your buddies are.
- If you use Toolbar, they know every web site you visit.
- If you use Translate, they know that you are learning German.
- If you use Video, the same applies as for YouTube.
- If you use YouTube, they know every video you have watched, what genres you like, which naughty videos you have watched, which ones you commented/favorited on, and the videos you have uploaded.
I am sure I missed some of the services Google offers. I don't share this information with you to scare you, just to make you think about how much information and how much of the Internet moves with Google. Think about the combinations from the information above that can be generated. Seriously, take a second and think about them. Is Google evil? No. Could I see Google having to split apart into multiple companies at some point in the next few years? Yes. Do you mind Google housing all of this data about you in return for free apps?
Looks like Google might be bringing back the tips, at least on the home page. Check the screenshot below. This is a bit different than the previous time, as they do not appear to be related to a search, rather a home page tip.
Side note: Blogger appears to occupy the only paid top spot for a search for "blog". So it might not be a tip but I wonder if anyone can outbid Google for this term.
Certainly looks like they are pushing the Google Checkout service hard as now the offer is $10 off $10!
Update: since I posted this earlier this morning, I now see ads within Gmail to invite my friends over. Check out the screenshot below.