Google have launched their payments service Google Checkout in the UK. The credit card payments service has been available in the US since last year, but until now was not available to buyers and sellers in Europe. Currently only US and UK merchants may register, but buyers from a number of different countries can shop.
Dubbed a “Paypal killer”, Checkout‘s launch wasn’t without its problems, but an agressive marketing strategy last Christmas, no seller fees throughout 2007 and giveaways to shoppers have seen its popularity increase. UK sellers will also benefit from a fee-free service this year, as well as the standard offer of Â£10 of orders processed free for every Â£1 spent on Google advertising. We predict that UK merchants will be flocking to sign up today!
With eBay having stated that it will not allow Checkout on site, that slice of Paypal’s market seems safe. Google’s target will be smaller website owners who don’t have their own merchant accounts. Until now, there has been little choice in this marketplace: stick with Paypal, or sign up with Nochex. However, problems with customers being charged extra bank fees for using Nochex have caused many Nochex merchants to think again about the service. As Google Checkout works slightly differently to both Nochex and Paypal, faciliatating ordinary card payments, it seems that they will be safe from this extra fee. So while Checkout may not be a Paypal-killer just yet, it surely marks the beginning of the end for Nochex.
Updated to add: Or perhaps not. It seems that Google will require UK merchants to have a VAT number to be permitted to register. This seems to knock out a huge proportion of Google’s potential market to me.
Updated AGAIN to add: No, apparently that’s been dropped. Non-VAT reg. is okay.