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Google Launches PayPal Rival 449

Google Checkout Launched

Roy van Rijn informs us that Google's new online payment system is now online. "Under the name Checkout, the venture offers an incorporated manner to search, advertise and pay. If you buy something on Checkout, 2% and $0.20 go to Google. Paypal, the biggest competitor uses 1,9% and $0,30. Analysts compare Google/Paypal to for example Visa/Mastercard living peacefully together, while others predict the end of Paypal." W3K adds "You can use your Google account to store an unlimited number of credit cards and addresses. The service allows you to track all your orders and shipping in one place," and adds a link to a quick video tour.
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Google Launches PayPal Rival

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  • NYT article (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ems2 ( 976335 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @08:18AM (#15626948) Homepage
    NYT times [] also has a interesting article on this with quotes about Google's plans on what they want to do with this product.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 29, 2006 @08:22AM (#15626965)
    Paypal and ebay do, just not very well. If this google thing works well without js, I'm closing my paypal account.
  • Money transfers? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Poromenos1 ( 830658 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @08:25AM (#15626979) Homepage
    My biggest question is if I can use my checkout funds to pay for stuff. I live in Greece, so I can't withdraw PayPal funds (cheaply, anyway), but I can use it to pay for my hosting/online shopping. If I can't do this with Google Checkout, it's all but useless to me.
  • by the_unknown_soldier ( 675161 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @08:25AM (#15626981)
    I watched the video.. didn't RTFA though. Does anyone think this it is weird that google is advertising this as a replacement for credit cards?

    Paypal markets itself as a "safe" alternative for things like ebay, and easier to use for things like donations and small online stores that might not be able to use credit card facilities. Yet google is advertising this as a replacement for credit cards on all of your purchases. Would you be prepared to pay 2% on every single purchase you made at an online store just so you don't have to "fill out forms"? This seems silly to me at best.

    I can't imagine ever using paypal for any real purchase. This sort of thing should only be needed for small and unsafe purchases.

    Also, considering how long it took paypal to have Australian checking account support, I'm not going to hold my breathe on Google!
  • by kthejoker ( 931838 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @08:28AM (#15626997)
    I think the most important thing about this entire endeavor is that it is the first Google product that plans on actually introducing a revenue stream besides advertising to the company (especially since the Google Pay Video system has more or less fell through at this point in time.)

    I'm not quite sure what that means for the long-term health of the company, but I suspect that the more streams of revenue a company has, the more likely they are to become conservative, entrenched, and reluctant to embrace change. Google has managed to avoid all that because they've had a strong beam focus on a single revenue stream (ad dollars) - as they start matriculating, I suspect that beam focus will dissipate.

    But then again, they're Google - they just work smarter than basically every other company out there today. So I put nothing out of their reach.
  • by JumperCable ( 673155 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @08:28AM (#15626998)
    4.7% interest on money contained in paypal accounts, no minimum. That's hard to beat for a pretty liquid fund of money.
  • by Whafro ( 193881 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @08:29AM (#15627001) Homepage
    While we all love Google and everything it produces over here on slashdot, I don't think that they are going to crash PayPal's party in the too near future.

    This is what they said when Blockbuster started competing with NetFlix, but NetFlix is doing quite alright by themselves, and PayPal is, in my opinion, in better shape in their space than NetFlix was. PayPal and eBay are pretty good bed buddies, and PayPal is already accepted on thousands of other websites. People know the name, people have used it before, people know it works.

    Regardless of how great the product Google produces turns out to be, people will still use PayPal as long as PayPal remains competitive, which I imagine it will. I mean, for all the people who rave and rant about how amazing Gmail is, the mailing list that my mom's quilt shop has accumulated is saturated with yahoo, hotmail, and aol addresses, with not a single gmail address to be found out of a few thousand names.

  • Micropayments (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Threni ( 635302 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @08:30AM (#15627010)
    > 2% and $0.20

    So they didn't want to just take the 2% so it could be used by websites to charge tiny amounts of money per page/hour etc? $0.20 blows that intriguing possibility out of the water. They could accrue the amounts spent until it reached some value where the transaction was worth performing, if they're worried about thousands of $0.001 hits slowing down their system or costing too much to run.
  • Correction. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Funkcikle ( 630170 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @08:32AM (#15627023)
    "The service allows you to track all your orders and shipping in one place"

    Should read as:

    "The service allows Google to track all your orders and shipping in one place"
  • Before Google Checkout has much hope of usurping PayPal, they'll need to accept more payment options.

    Paypal currently allows payment direct from a bank account (I don't expect Google to need this), Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Delta, Maestro, Visa Electron, Solo, Discover, and more if you count their other services. That's at least 10 ways to pay.

    Google, on the other hand, accept Visa, Mastercard, Amex and Discover. With only 4 ways to pay, I suspect Google Checkout is not an option for many people.

    Disclaimer: I live in the UK and this is based on my experience with the UK PayPal service. I also agree with the sentiments of, and would like to see Google smash PayPal to pieces if they can Do No Evil. YMMV.
  • more info (Score:4, Interesting)

    by feamsr00 ( 746721 ) <feamsr00&feamsternet,net> on Thursday June 29, 2006 @08:36AM (#15627044) Homepage
    It would seem I wasnt fast enough to post this story, but I had a couple more links and useful info, so here it is:

    Google Checkout [] has been released today. From their blog: We've heard time and again from users: "I find great stores through Google search, but every time I try to buy from an online store, I have to re-enter the same billing, shipping, and credit card information. There are too many steps. Why can't it be as fast as a Google search?" This motivated us to improve the online purchase process, and so today we're announcing Google Checkout, a checkout option that makes buying across the web fast and easy."
    Google CheckOut includes single signon and badges on adwords of merchants that use Google CheckOut.
    Features include using many addresses and many different cards for buyers [] and a "Payment Guarantee" against chargebacks for sellers [].
    AdWords users get $10 in sales processed for free for every $1 spent on AdWords.

    For those of us text weary, there are videos for buyers [] and sellers []

  • by psycln ( 937854 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @08:53AM (#15627138) Homepage Journal
    Funny thing, I just signed up for checkout with my G Account and all I had to do is specify a different country.

    I even tried buying something from and got the Oops [] from Google.
  • Typo (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pr0nbot ( 313417 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @08:54AM (#15627143)
    "The service allows you^H^H^H them to track all your orders and shipping in one place"


    The nation's #1 tinfoil hat supplier!
  • by SpinyNorman ( 33776 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @09:18AM (#15627262)
    Yeah - I don't like that my gmail password would now give someone access to my credit card if I were to sign up for Google checkout. I like to keep things more compartmentalized than that. For things like e-mail and other lower security things I use one set of passwords, but for PayPal I use a unique, much longer, and more secure one and make sure never to have my Browser store it.

    Also, it's convenient to stay logged into Google for gmail, but I wouldn't want to do that at work if it gave access to my credit card! I think a seperate password, required each time you buy something, would be better than using your one password to the Googleplex.
  • by Ilgaz ( 86384 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @09:46AM (#15627414) Homepage
    It says it is not a banking institution. So, it has lower rates and has "Google" in its name.

    No other difference from Paypal?

    It seems they use their brand value and lower rates against Paypal. Hope we won't have another Google Groups in hand since this thing is purely related to real life money.

    On Google Groups, you can pollute usenet with any kind of criminal scams, pyramid schemes and they send "Google does not censor groups" type of "we don't care" message in politically correct way. Deja could handle abuse while usenet was really huge compared to today but as a billion dollar company they can't.

    I hope they start working with , and right now. I hope they recorded all their URLs/IPs as interested parties and we (reporting users) don't see "ISP does not want to receive reports regarding" type of stuff at as first days of Paypal.

  • Re:End of Paypal ? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hlh_nospam ( 178327 ) <concealedhandgun ... m ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday June 29, 2006 @10:17AM (#15627590) Homepage Journal
    There's nothing wrong with either Ebay or PayPal... that a dose of viable competition wouldn't cure in a heartbeat. PayPal has pissed off enough people that CheckOut is virtually guaranteed to be an immediate success, but probably won't kill PayPal immediately. PayPal will simply clean up its act, which is long overdue. (Thanks, Google!!) As for ebay, they are on the downhill slide anyway. They have grown too big to effectively manage, they have become a fraud magnet, and they are chasing a business model that has some curious shortcomings (most of what is currently sold on Ebay is not really well-suited to the auction format). A combination of GoogleBase and CheckOut will eventually reduce ebay to a footnote in internet history (Something along the lines of, "For those of you that don't remember Ebay, it was once the largest auction/ecommerce site by a factor of more than 10").

    I will be checking out the new CheckOut, with some initial testing in my violin business [], and if the results are good, I may move all of my business away from Ebay.

  • by turnstyle ( 588788 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @10:29AM (#15627679) Homepage
    Google Checkout lets buyers hide their email addresses from sellers -- but, it seems fair that sellers should get buyers' email addresses (PayPal doesn't similarly hide emails).

    It also seems like hiding the email address from the seller may also encourage more fraud (especially for digially distributed works).

    So, at first glance, Google Checkout seems worse than PayPal from the seller's perspective -- it'll be interesting to see if sellers choose to stick with PayPal for reasons such as these...
  • Re:1,9% and $0,30 ? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rjstanford ( 69735 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @10:50AM (#15627826) Homepage Journal
    At least Google accounts are easy to sign up for and manage. I have a PayPal account. I think it even has some money in it still (a few bucks). I have the hardest time getting any PayPal transactions to work - and I work in enterprise web development, so its not as if I'm a stranger to the system. I couldn't imagine forcing someone to sign up for a PP account, and I agree that a Google account is still too much of a requirement, but at least its a lot more reasonable.
  • So, at first glance, Google Checkout seems worse than PayPal from the seller's perspective

    Actually, I'm inclined to disagree. There is a full API, and you can practically (as a seller) hide the fact you're using Google to process payments from the user if you wish. I'm writing an online store right now, and integration with Google appears to be less costly than having to get a merchant bank account and integrate with annoying APIs like Paymentech.

    I like that Google placed the service on both a Paypal and full-out merchant level. Now I can do all payment processing on my site via the available web API, but still put the Google badge on the site to put buyers at ease.

  • simplify (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kurtis25 ( 909650 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @11:03AM (#15627931)
    Google wants to track data flow; they want to see how you get to sites, what you look at and what you buy. This system allows them to watch how money flows in a controlled market place. I would assume eventually they will hold money and you can buy and sell with it. IE you could give your kids 100$ in their account, they could buy a DVD for 15$ and now have 85$ but sell two CDs at 10$ each and have 110$. This will eventually eliminate the $.20 fee (or make it Google profit). It will be come a commodities market of sorts, I will watch Tom Cruise jump up on a couch and decide TC movies will become hot sellers so I will quickly move my money to take ownership of his films and put them up for sale at a higher price. You people will buy them from me and I will have a profit which I will re-invest in Hillary for President bumper sticker because I think those will become popular. No transactions will appear on my credit card statement, I will have essential bought a commodity with Google money, which I can cash out like stocks.
  • Re:End of Paypal ? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 29, 2006 @11:22AM (#15628074)
    "PayPal is doing banking and should be regulated as such."

    I'm ignorant. So bear with me:

    Can you give clear reasons why you state this?

    Furthermore, don't banks have to report many types of transactions to the federal government/regulatory body directly? Such as large cash withdrawals/payments? Checks over $1,000? iow, if they were regulated as a bank, how would such withdrawals be viewed regarding transfers and purchases, and as such, maybe not subject as directly to federal review?

    Now, I'm not stupid enough to believe PayPal doesn't bend over and hand over info much like parent ebay does when it comes to law enforcement; they probably already provide much of this information on request. But with banks, such reporting is, I believe, mandatory.
  • Re:End of Paypal ? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TasteeWheat ( 981090 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @11:24AM (#15628090)
    The thing people like about PayPal is it lets you pay with a credit card. If I buy something using PayPal with a credit card and I don't receive it then one email to my credit card company will see the money returned.

    Sure, you can do that, but then you'll get screwed by Paypal. I had an issue where the seller never shipped the item to me, and I first went through Paypal's dispute option in order to get my money back. However, they were either unable or unwilling to give me a refund, so I disputed the charge with my credit card company. Once Paypal got the chargeback, they permanently froze my service until I paid THEM the amount of my chargeback. Give money back to Paypal for an item I never received, and had just disputed? I don't think so. Needless to say, I haven't used them since (nor will I ever).
  • Re:End of Paypal ? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RDW ( 41497 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @12:42PM (#15628626)
    The problem is that in at least some countries this only applies until you reach your lifetime 'sending limit' (read the small print). Once this limit is reached (I think this is $2000 in the US, but only £500 at most in the UK) you have to give PayPal direct access to a bank account, losing the 'insulation' provided by your credit card. This is the thing I hate most about PayPal, and they aren't exactly up-front about it either (the help information about account 'verification' just has some vague language about the supposed benefits to the buyer, and nothing about the very real advantages to PayPay of being able to suck cash straight out of your bank account).
  • Re:US Only (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dshk ( 838175 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @02:23PM (#15629641)
    Sellers must be from the USA too, and "Country: USA" is actually hard coded HTML on the vendor signup form...
    Btw. PayPal still don't accept vendors from the new EU member countries. You can buy but not sell if you live there. Considering that the percentage of credit card fraud is significantly lower in these countries then in the old member countries I feel this diffenentiation is quite unashamed.
    Not that it makes too much difference, in our shop customers can pay using about 6-7 different payment services depending on their country (including Paypal although indirectly), but 90% of the purchases are done using credit cards.
    Anyway, PayPal made me so angry that I intended to integrate Google's payment service as soon as possible.

  • can you pay FRIENDS? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by linuxlover ( 40375 ) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @02:26PM (#15629677) Homepage
    One thing we (at work) use paypal for is to pay each other. When we go out for lunch/drinks, one guy in the group picks up the tab for the whole group and he sends paypal requests to the rest of us. We just pay him with a click. So simple, no need to scramble for cash or trying to break a $20 bill (b/c every one has 20s) to pay $11.34 :-)

    Does Google Checkout has this? I can't spot this from the 'take a tour' plug

    This is a real nice feature and would really like to see it in GOOG version

grep me no patterns and I'll tell you no lines.