Google Checkout, the latest added convenience to online shoppers, may be an easy and quick solution for your ecommerce site. However be aware that as with any new product, even a big name like Google can have some issues. ATAK Interactive is committed to informing you on the tools that you need to make your online business succeed. Therefore, ATAK breaks down the pros and cons of Google Checkout and discusses other online payment options that may be a better fit for your business.
GOOGLE CHECKOUT: HOW IT WORKS
Google Checkout is an online payment processing service that works with all major credit card companies. Essentially, a buyer creates an account with Google using their shipping and credit card information. The buyer can then purchase products online from any vendor who utilizes Google Checkout by signing into their account. With just a few clicks, the buyer can successfully make a purchase.
THE PROS: EASE OF PURCHASE AND SECURITY
One of the top benefits is ease of purchase for your customers. Whenever a Google Checkout user makes a purchase from an ecommerce site using Google Checkout, their information is already saved in their account profile so they never need to enter credit card or shipping information. Additionally, they have peace of mind that their credit card information stays within Google Checkout and is never seen by the vendor.
THE CONS: SYSTEM BUGS AND CUSTOMER SERVICE
Both merchants and customers have reported bugs in the system with inaccurate charges and consequently poor customer service when there is an attempt to dispute these charges. Google Checkout has an online form for users to complete to then open a service ticket for their issue to be resolved, and it often takes some time for someone from Google to respond. Additionally, there is no customer service phone number provided. There have also been reports of withholding merchant payouts and freezing accounts for seemingly no reason. For any customers who have had problems with Google Checkout, they could be deterred from making a purchase from your ecommerce site.
ATAK INTERACTIVE’S ALTERNATIVES
Fortunately, there are similar alternatives to Google Checkout to look into. PayPal, which is currently the leader in online payment processing, operates in a similar fashion to Google Checkout. The major difference between the two is that you can link an account other than a credit card to PayPal, where Google Checkout accepts credit cards only. Ironically, PayPal’s two largest complaints from users and merchants are also system bugs and lack of customer service.
Another alternative, although it functions differently from Google Checkout and PayPal, is using a payment gateway such as Authorize.net for purchases. Essentially, instead of a customer having a username and password with stored information, the customer will have to enter their credit card and shipping information directly into the website. Authorize.net works with a merchant account to process the payment with the buyer’s credit card company. The other difference is that although Authorize.net’s transaction fees are comparable to Google Checkout and PayPal, it charges an additional $20 monthly fee. However, Authorize.net’s customer service is said to be substantially better than PayPal or Google Checkout’s. Another variation between a payment gateway and the other services mentioned is that the process of getting approved for an account is more thorough and the rejection rate for an account is higher.
WHAT’S BEST FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
Although every business is different, it may be in your best interest to include multiple payment options on your ecommerce website so customers can have options. ATAK Interactive’s team of professionals can help you determine what type of payment processing is best for your business. If you have a small business and are just getting started, offering both Google Checkout and Paypal will give your customers a choice, and you will only be charged a transaction fee when you make a sale. If you are an established business, it would be wise to work with a more complex payment processing provider such as Authorize.net so that you can add this option to your site and customers who do not want to create a Google or PayPal account don’t have to.