Google’s move to retire its Google Checkout platform has online merchants reaching for their, um, Google Wallet.
As Search Engine Journal contributing writer Salaam Aslam posted on Aug. 14, Google’s recent announcement of the shutdown of Checkout, its popular online payment processing service, stoked some grumbling from the online business sector.
Google intends to complete the transition to its new Google Wallet platform on Nov. 20, when Checkout will go dark. In the grand scheme of things, writes Aslam, the transition will be a smooth one for sellers of information products, but will cause headaches for merchants of physical goods who used Checkout, and who now must find other means of taking payments. Aslam said Wallet will not be functional for tangible goods merchants. And the three services Google has contracted to help with the transition for those merchants are not easily accessible in many parts of the world. Freshbooks, Shopify and Braintree Payments have been brought in by Google to provide payment and invoice management during the transition. Those store owners worldwide who can’t access Google’s new partners will have to navigate their way out of Checkout and into a new platform on their own, taking on the headaches that can come with managing such a transition themselves. Alternative services available to them include Paypal, 2Checkout and Skrill.
But as Aslam also points out, the ranks of the affected merchants is small, perhaps because the total number of Checkout users is small in comparison to PayPal, Checkout’s main competitor. As many Google users know, they have offered Checkout since 2006, but have never really marketed the service, especially since Google bosses watched upstart PayPal pass Checkout by, and eventually dwarf it. With Wallet, Google will offer a more streamlined payment service, one designed to work seamlessly with Gmail and Chrome and across all of Google’s platforms. The Wallet and Chrome combination will allow for ease of access and quicker online payments; Wallet and Gmail will allow users to send money to one another once Wallet information is shared. The upgrading of Wallet included a tightening of security protocols that will cut down on the risk of information theft and fraudulent use. It is a service that Google can push into the marketplace with a bit more muscle than it did Checkout.
Unlike their fellow entrepreneurs who hawk physical goods, Aslam writes that those who trade in digital or information products will not find the move to Wallet an easy one. If they are already  using Checkout, the transition will be swift and smooth.
Aslam, Salmaan. “What Does Google Checkout Dying Mean For Merchants?“; Search Engine Journal, 8/13/2013.