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A Review of Google Checkout

written by: Niki Fears•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 7/5/2011

Find out about the payment gateway service from Google.

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    In an attempt to compete with payment giant PayPal, which was acquired by eBay, a new service has emerged over the past year or so from the search engine leader Google. However, their payment processing service, called 'Google Checkout' may be a bit out of their league. So how exactly does it stack up? In this review we will look at the three main problems of Google's service.

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    User Friendliness and the Lack Thereof

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    The Google Checkout service is perhaps one of the most user unfriendly services available in the payment gateway industry, particularly for sellers. The navigation of the site, for example, makes it difficult to use or locate the section of the site that you need. For example, when you first go to the Google Checkout site you are given a log in screen; however, this screen only logs you in to your Google Checkout account for customers. In order to get to the section of the site that you need in order to be a seller, or bill customers you have to look for a tiny link underneath the log in that reads “Information for Sellers”. Also, getting used to how the service works and the steps that you need to take to invoice a customer and process a payment can be a bit confusing and makes you feel like you are jumping through hoops in order to collect your money.

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    Few Customization Options

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    While you can create invoices, Google Checkout gives you far fewer services and comparatively fewer customizable options. For example, when invoicing a customer it is automatically set up as if you are shipping an item or billing for a future order which is a bit awkward for users who are billing on a per project or by the hour basis for services rendered.

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    Wait...Then Wait Some More

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    Once you have jumped through all of the hoops and finally have a payment processed, the next step is to, of course, have the money transferred to your bank account where you can access it. Google only initiates these payouts on business days, which for some reason in the Google universe not only excludes the weekends but Thursdays and Fridays as well. Which means if you can not process a payment by Wednesday, it will sit in the que several days before you can actually access your money.

    Given the slow processing time, confusing set up, and poor navigation I would recommend using one of the other payment services, such as PayPal and to avoid this one whenever possible. To learn more about payment gateways and alternatives to Google's checkout service check out the following articles:

    How to Use PayPal to Collect Payments

    Small Business Web Hosting Options

    A Review of PayPal

    What Are Payment Gateways and How Can You Use Them on Your Site?