Google Checkout

Update: I’m no longer recommending Google Checkout after they raised their fees to be equal to that of PayPal. Google’s only real advantage was their low transaction rates, now that it’s at parity it does not make sense to continue using them. See here for more information. I leave the article below for referrence on what was once a great service.

Customers of my game server business may have recently noticed that we’ve added a new payment method, Google Checkout. There have been many reasons driving this, both ones that benefit customers and me.

First of all, from the customer side, Google Checkout is much simpler to use and offers a lot more control over payment history. We’ve had a few customers who have had a bad experience with PayPal and refused to use it. However, unlike PayPal, Google Checkout can only accept a Credit/Debit card as a funding source, so you can’t pay using existing funds or a bank account. However, we found that most people used a Credit or Debit card anyway.

On our side however, it’s even better. While we have to hand-process each order (charging the card etc) the way is done is very good. Plus, we also get a lot more control over the order and like it is for the user side, the history is excellent. There is also the added benefit of having the Google Checkout badge on your AdSense results, which helps make your ad stand out.

One major factor that many might consider is fees. PayPal’s base rate is 0.25p + 4%. This can quickly mount up, with a £24 payment having over £1 in fees, and if you have micropayments it gets even worse. Google Checkout however has 0.15p + 1.5%, faw lower. It doesn’t stop there however, if you advertise using their AdWords service you get £10 worth of sales processed for free for every £1 in advertising you spend. So say you spend £10 on AdWords a month, that gives you £100 of sales processed for free (note: not £100 worth of fees). So the savings are even greater! (More lower prices I can pass on to users)

Perhaps the most interesting bit for us however is that payments are initated to our bank account daily. Unlike PayPal, where you have to get £50 first before you can withdraw. That’s upto £50 that you are not earning interest on and is completely under PayPal’s control.

I will however keep offering PayPal, while Google Checkout is far better when you compare it it has the disadvantage of being unfamiliar to users and not supporting Bank Account funding, so as not to alienate parts of my userbase i’m running both but recommending Google Checkout.

Update: Got an email the other day from Google saying that I didn’t qualify to have the Google Checkout badge on my AdWords adverts. Apparently, they couldn’t find the badge, so they must just quickly check through. I emailed them back and they checked again and found it (you have to fill out an order form). While the AdWords badge isn’t particually important, it helps you stand out from competitors.

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