Google launched its own online payment system, Google Checkout, on June 29, rumors of which began almost exactly a year ago. Google Checkout makes it fast and easy to make purchases at online stores and keep track of all your orders. To make purchases at online stores, the user just needs to enter the username and password of their Google account.
Google Checkout is convenient because it allows you to pay for purchases in online stores by credit card, and the user is not charged a fee, i.e. the service is completely free for the buyer. In addition, there is no need to open an account and transfer money, as it is accepted in the Internet-purses, and all payments are made by credit card. To date, Google allows you to pay by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover cards using its system.
When registering with Google Checkout, users enter their personal information and credit card number, and then they no longer need to re-enter this information when purchasing from online stores. When paying for a purchase at an online store, the user is redirected to Google’s website, where they only enter their account username and password, with Google taking care of all other functions.
In addition, the user, by logging in to Google, can track the status of all his or her orders that he or she has placed at various online stores.
In turn, Google guarantees the privacy of the user’s financial and other information. Neither the Google Checkout user’s credit card number nor the email address is transmitted to the merchant. This way, the user will be protected from online fraud and their email box will not be bombarded with spam after making another purchase.
At launch, Google Checkout payments are accepted by more than 100 online retailershttp://www.google.com/buy/m.html, including The LEVIS Store and Buy.com, though Amazon.com, the iTunes Music Store and, of course, eBay are not among them.
In addition, the Google Checkout service will appear in Google’s contextual advertising and will allow purchases to be made simply by clicking on the shopping cart icon next to the product offerings.
Unfortunately, Google’s online payment system is only available in the United States, although the company plans to expand the list of countries in the future. Most likely, the company wants to cautiously test this new type of business before entering the global market. One way or another, Russian citizens will not be able to use Google’s simple and convenient online payment service yet.
At the moment it is difficult to estimate how much Google will earn from the new project, but one way or another, the appearance of such a major player cannot but affect the global online payment systems market.
Today’s market leader in online payment systems is PayPal, which was bought in October 2002 by online auctioneer eBay for $1.5 billion. PayPal’s 2005 payment volume was more than $27 billion and its annual revenue was more than $1 billion.
Today PayPal has over 105 million users out of its billion internet audience and operates in 55 countries around the world, unfortunately Russia is not among them. In 2006 PayPal received the authoritative Webby award for the second year in a row in the Best Finance Services Site category.[/DATAENCODE
Google’s monthly audience size is significantly higher, at 380 million, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. In addition, Google offers online retailers an average lower commission percentage of 2.2 percent of payment value and an additional 30 cents per transaction. Google also offers a number of discounts to its customers who order contextual advertising on Google.
PayPal charges the same 30 cents per transaction and 2.9 to 1.9 percent of the payment value depending on the monthly payment volume. In addition, outside of the U.S., PayPal’s fees are slightly higher. For the European Union the fees are 3.4 to 1.9 percent of the value of the payment and an additional 35 cents per transaction. For the rest of the countries the fees are from 3,4 to 2,4 percent of the payment amount and 30 cents per transaction. In addition, PayPal charges an additional 2.5 percent if the payment is made in a currency other than the U.S. dollar.
Google, which emerged from the research project of two Stanford University graduate students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, in a garage, is now number 353 in the FORTUNE 500 and number three among Internet companies. Last year, Google’s profits rose 267.2 percent to $1.465 billion and the company had annual revenues of $6.138 billion. Google’s market value exceeds $100 billion, the company is building two giant computing centers, and the Microsoft founder calls the company itself a major competitor.
According to Google vice president Salar Kamangar, Google’s online payment system is completing a process of change by which users can quickly find and buy the things they need. It is conceivable that, over time, the notion of an online store existing as a standalone site may disappear, and most purchases will be made through search engines that offer suppliers a complete trading service.