Google Checkout OK For Micropayments

Google Checkout can be used for transactions as low as $.05, reader Mary Marsala With Fries confirms.

This is huge news for artists, writers, coders, and other small or individual merchants, especially those who’ll profit from being able to sell little things for cheap. Nobody would pay $5 for a neat poem I wrote (you can get a book of poems for that!), but they might pay $0.50 to download a .pdf or $1.50 for a signed print.

You can take payments of as little as $1.00 on PayPal, but of course with PayPal you have to give them access to your bank account, and with Google, not so.

Google Checkout continues its relentless pursuit of excellence/Paypal smashing. Why haven’t we bought shares in yet? Oh wait, because it’s expensive, has low cash flow, and Google keeps issuing stock to employees.

Aside: Google Checkout’s promotional $10 off $30+ and $20 off $50+ program ended today. — BEN POPKEN

Google Checkout Does Micropayments! [*The *Transcendental *Wildcard]


Edit Your Comment

  1. But if I’m not mistaken, you have to send an invoice to receive a payment via Google Checkout. That makes things more complex.

  2. Flexo says:

    I’d like to see Google Payments offer a subscription feature, like PayPal has. Once they do, I’ll consider myself a convert.

  3. cindel says:

    I was having problems with Google checkout at I was purchasing mp3 player when the order page said that my card was declined then later cancel my order. WTF?

  4. fivecentnickel (nice handle, heh) — The only circumstance I can think of where you wouldn’t send an invoice is a small “donation”, which Google admits they can’t do yet (but which I plan on mercilessly harrassing them until they do do). Other than that, wouldn’t there be some kind of invoice every time you sold someone something anyway?

    Checkout’s not perfect yet by any means, but I am totally geeked at how much *better* than PayPal it is. FINALLY, something is!

  5. Oh, FYI — Google actually told me that you can process transactions as low as $0.01. After their fees kick in (Jan 1, 2008), this won’t be such a good idea (2% + $0.20 per transaction) — basically anything less than a quarter will be getting you nothing. However, a year is a loooong time for us email junkies to harrass Google into changing their minds.

    (I utterly love companies who listen. Did I mention that?? ;)


  6. Owen Thomas says:

    Google Checkout doesn’t require a bank account? News to me.

  7. puredoxyk: Right, but this post was written in the context of micro-payments. Do people really want to invoice happy readers of their poems for $0.50 apiece? That’s not a realistic model. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of Google Checkout. I just don’t think it will work in this context as things currently stand.

    ditherati: I think the lack of necessary bank access is on the paying end.