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Google Checkout Making Its Move

It looks like Google might be getting serious about its payment product, Google Checkout. First, right around Thanksgiving, they replaced the ‘Videos’ link with ‘Products’. Earlier this week, Google announced Google Checkout promotions for the holiday season.

Now today, Google Blogoscoped reports that the SERPs in that same Product Search (nice name, eh?) are littered with Google Checkout Badges. As Philipp’s subtitle reads, “No PayPal Badges In Sight.”

And also today, Internet Retailer reports that Google Checkout is pulling ahead of PayPal Express Checkout in terms of adoption by major etailers. Of the top 200 largest online merchants, twenty-six accept payment through Google Checkout, compared to twenty-one who take PayPal EC. (via)

The two payment options were neck-and-neck at the time of the last survey (Jan 2007), with 15 merchants accepting each.

Meanwhile, 52 of the top 200 accept the plain-vanilla PayPal option. So before we start celebrating Google Checkout’s ascendancy, it’s important to note that they only have half the market penetration of basic PayPal.

Another thing to take into account: Google Checkout currently charges no processing fees for transactions processed on their network. This offer is set to expire at the end of this year. Will merchants, large and small, stick around once the fees kick in? And will new merchants sign up without that benefit? It remains to be seen.