Google Checkout is an online payment system that was offered by Google Inc. between 2006-2013. Customers with a valid Google account were able to pay in certain online stores without having to enter their credit card information every time once they were logged in.
The Google Checkout service was introduced in the United States in June of 2006. It can be assumed that Google wanted to counter its competitor eBay with its online payment service PayPal, which had entered the business of payment processors a few years earlier. By April 2007, Google Checkout was introduced in the UK as well.
At the beginning, participating merchants had the service available to them for free. But three years after introduction, Google demanded 20 US cents and a two percent commission per transaction which was carried out through the Google payment Service in the United States. In the UK, a 1.4 percent commission and 20 pennies for every sale through the payment system was charged to the merchant. Google AdWords clients incurred lower transaction costs if they were also merchants with the Google service.
Besides ordinary payment processing, Google offered a way to collect donations through Google Checkout without additional fees to non-profit organizations. Their direct competitor eBay, which has its own payment service with PayPal excluded Google Checkout from its payment methods starting in 2011. Google Checkout was adjusted and integrated into the Google Wallet system in November 2013.
To use Google Checkout, you first had to create a Google account and then enter your credit card information. Other bank accounts were not possible. You could then pay in an online store by logging in with your Google account and handling the payment through the card entered in your Google account. Merchants could include an API in their shopping cart process and integrate Google Checkout as a payment method. A fee was due for each transaction.
The termination of the service in 2013 did not mean that Google has completely withdrawn from the market for pay services on the Internet. Quite the contrary, Google expanded its service with Google Wallet to offer strong competition to eBay’s PayPal and other suppliers. Google’s interest seems to be justified because just in Germany alone, more than half of all online consumers took advantage of this online payment service according to an e-commerce study by Bitkom in 2012.