GBuy Launches as Google Checkout


Pretty much all of the GBuy beans have already been spilled, but with today’s official launch, we do learn some new details.

First, the new service is officially named Google Checkout.

ClickZ
has a good summary of details, including…

…AdWords advertisers will receive free payment processing for sales of up to 10 times their monthly spending. A company spending $1,000 in one month for AdWords would receive $10,000 worth of free payment processing the next month.

…Google has signed some well-known brands to participate at launch. Buy.com, Timberland.com, Jockey.com, Starbucks.com and Levis.com will offer users the option of using Google Checkout.

…Google Checkout is aimed at providing people the convenience of entering in their credit card and personal details once, then using them across a variety of merchants.

CNET adds

…AdWords customers who use the payment system will have shopping cart icons displayed in their ads so customers will know that they can use their Google Checkout account to pay for purchases.

…Any Web site can add Google Checkout as a payment processing method by either cutting and pasting HTML, or Web code, into the site.

…Google also is partnering with financial services companies. For example, Google and Citibank will offer customers a co-branded Checkout option that will provide users $5 and 1,000 “thank-you” points for signing up

…The service will initially be offered in the United States only, and, unlike most new Google products, it is not a beta test version.

Forrester analyst, Charlene Li, sees this as a great way to reduce shopping-cart abandonment and increase trust with merchants. However, she also warns that Google’s brand could be tarnished if it handles consumers cash incorrectly.

But what happens when the inevitable phishing attacks begin, or payment problems ensue? In the pre-briefing of this announcement, Google did not discuss customer service issues, but clearly, it’s one thing to serve several hundred thousand advertisers paying for their search ads, and quite another to serve potentially millions of consumers.

Charlene also raises the often asked question of whether consumers will start getting concerned that Google knows too much about them.

…now we have Google tracking our search history with personalized search, email with Gmail, and online spending with Checkout. At what point do consumers get that squishy feeling in their gut that Google knows too much?