Google is offering online merchants free use of its Google Checkout service until the end of 2007. Aimed at taking on PayPal, the move has left many wondering how the payment giant will respond.
Introduced in June this year, Google Checkout offers online business a fast and easy way to process payments. Benjamin Ling, the Google executive who runs Checkout, says it was not designed as Google’s answer to PayPal but as a way to cut down on the steps (registering, typing in credit card etc.) needed for consumers to complete a purchase.
Soon after its launch Google began aggressively marketing the product by offering free ad credits and rebates of up to $30 off for customers. Their latest move mounts the pressure even further on PayPal, who had no comment on Google’s plans.
The decision to drop fee’s for 2007 is being used as a way to stimulate trial of the product. “Once people use our service, they love it,” Said Ling. Google claims thousands of retailers use Google Checkout such as Toys R Us, Buy.com and Ritz Interactive.
While neither company will specify the exact number of merchant accounts, PayPal does have some reason for concern. Twenty Five per cent of eBay’s (PayPal’s parent company) profits come from PayPal, meaning any pressure on pricing could have a profound impact.
If you currently use Google Checkout, let us know what you think! Does it have the power to trump PayPal as the leader in online payments?