On November 20, 2013, Google Checkout will no longer exist. For those who are loyal to the company and its products, this may be an inconvenience at best. But for others, the amount of changes needed may make them think twice about going forward with the company and maybe taking their business elsewhere.

From Checkout to Wallet
Google Checkout was its answer to PayPal back in June 2006. It was free to use until 2008 when merchants incurred a fee of 2 percent plus $0.20 per transaction. It even had a program that allowed non-profit organizations to accept donations. In response, eBay, owner of PayPal, added Google Checkout to the banned payment lists, and forbade the use of Checkout as payment for any eBay transaction. Thanks to the popularity of mobile devices, Google decided to create an open platform where buyers can use their mobile devices to make payments with no fees; buyers with an Android phone in the U.S. can even send money via Gmail attachment.

Merchant Options Available
Unlike the first time, the company is trying to smooth the transition by using the Google Merchant Center to let merchants know how much longer they have and what their alternatives are. For merchants that are selling digital goods, they can transition to Google Wallet easily. But those who are selling physical products won’t have a direct replacement for Google Checkout, and will need to rely on third-party providers to invoice and process payments. This can be a problem because while the third-party merchants are offering discounts to merchants, they may not have the global reach that Google has.

Adjustments Needed
Depending on your level of site integration, you’re going to need to remove the traces of merchant in your e-commerce site. For those who want to move forward with Google as a payment processor, there need to be a few changes.

  • After November 20, Google payment links within email invoices will return errors
  • Buy Now Buttons, next to products, will need to be removed and replaced with the new payment processing option
  • The shopping cart has a few lines of code that need to be removed. Those with specialized custom shopping carts will need to make sure that communication with Google Checkout stops by December 20.

For those who need to move to a new payment provider, you must be mindful that new orders will not be accepted after November 20, 2013 and you will have 30 days to issue refunds. Chargebacks filed within 180 days can be handled if the information is submitted within 10 days.

According to theVerge.com, there were close to half a billion Gmail accounts worldwide as of June 2012. Having a relationship with Google makes it easier for some users to take advantage of the Google Wallet. There is still some concern with the overall security of mobile banking; the fact that some merchants will have to overhaul the way they do business can hurt the adoption of Google Wallet. It will be interesting to see which vendors move forward, especially with the promise of no fees and who may step away.

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