Google Checkout the UK

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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 £10 of orders processed free for every £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.

4 Responses

  1. This is good news.

    It won’t harm PayPal in the short term, such a large percentage of their income being locked in via the eBay acceptable payments policy. However it ought to act as a wake up call for them. For the other internet payment service providers used by small businesses it’s certainly a threat.

    Google Checkout is (rightly) free of fees for the rest of 2007 while the user base grows and then its just 15pence plus 1.5% for sellers on subsequent transactions All that seems to be missing from the service is an integrated (by Google) shopping cart. It would also be nice if Google would enable referrals for Checkout to UK Adsense accounts, I guess that will come in time once the initial wave of account registrations abates.

    For eBay sellers thinking of web site sales outside of eBay it’s another small incentive to take the plunge.

  2. Google Checkout UK webinar – Monday 2pm

    Hi Biddy,

    It’s James Scott from ChannelAdvisor UK here. Hope you are well.

    I thought your readership might be interested in a free webinar (web seminar) we’re hosting on Monday at 2pm. We shall be co-presenting the Google Checkout product and its benefits for online retailers with Rob Swerling from Google.

    For anyone wanting to learn more about this new payment option, this is a perfect opportunity to tune in, listen to a presentation, and then have the opportunity to ask questions directly to Google at the end.

    To register, visit:

    Hope to see you there! Thanks.


  3. James – which Monday would that be?

    I hope it’s not the same as an eBay forum Pink’s “soon” – you know, the soon that never arrives.




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