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Choosing a Payment Processor
For people running an online business, the big question is: how can I be sure I'll get paid! Like B&M (Brick and Mortar) businesses, you can accept credit cards, but the fees are higher because you don't actually see the card; additionally, many people online are accustomed to paying through third party services such as PayPal and Google Checkout. As it turns out, this last option is a great choice for your business, because the Google Checkout security measures make it much more likely that you will, in fact, get paid.
Screenshot by author courtesy of Google Checkout.
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Google Checkout provides several policies and services to avoid fraud.
Google uses their own automated technology to detect and cancel fraudulent transactions, before you ever see them; this protects you against shipping a fraudulent order. In some cases, you'll see an order with the status "Customer review in progress," which means you'll be unable to ship this order until Google completes a manual review.
Google also checks the billing address provided by the customer against the one the credit card issuer has on file, and lets you know if there is a full match, a partial match (either the address or the zip code is correct), or no match. Naturally, it checks that the Card Verification Value, or CVV (the three or four digit number that appears on the front of the card for American Express and the back of the card for other issuers) is correct.
The system also shows how long the buyer has been able to make purchases through Google Checkout; when selling expensive items, seeing that a buyer just signed up can be a red flag.
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For orders that qualify for Google's Payment Guarantee Policy, Google will reimburse you if you lose any chargebacks related to that order. Google does not disclose how eligibility is determined; however, whether an order is eligible will be displayed on the order screen, in the buyer credit verification section, so you can use this information when deciding whether to accept higher-risk orders.
To be eligible for the coverage, the order must be for tangible goods and must be shipped to the address on the order, with a tracking number.
Full details are available in the Payment Guarantee section of Google's merchant help.
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Chargeback Resolution Policy
One thing you're not interested in doing is fighting chargebacks. One nice service Google provides is that they will fight chargebacks for you if you provide them with documentation. Specifically, Google will want to see all communication you've had with the buyer, along with the tracking number showing that the item has been delivered. As mentioned above, if the order was eligible for the Payment Guarantee, Google will reimburse you if you lose the chargeback.
Of course, it's still best to avoid chargebacks in the first place by having clearly stated return policies on your website and offering great customer service!
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In short, the Google Checkout security measures make it one of the safer ways to accept payments on the Internet. Does that mean you'll never lose money to an online criminal? Of course not...but it lets you greatly reduce your chances. The added security may also attract new customers, helping your business to be even more successful.