I continue to be astonished how few people seem aware that Google have been running a promotion in the UK which provides online credit/debit card merchant services for free. Google Checkout was running this free promotion until the end of the year but announced today that they are extending the free period until end of Feb 08.
Compare FREE with typical online merchant charges of 4.25%. Moreover, when the service does begin charging it intends to only levy charges at 1.5% AND these charges may also be offset against Google AdWord spending ie if you sell £100 of goods/services via Google Checkout which would attract charges of £1.50, they will give you free AdWord spending equivalent to this.
I mentioned this to a number of established online businesses who were completely unaware of it and the savings they could make. Several were dissuaded by the fact that a customer paying via the service had to open a Google Account if they didn’t already have one, unlike the PayPal equivalent service. However, I rather think that a) there are a huge number of folks with Google accounts already b) the Google brand is virtually perceived by the non-tech community as being the internet. The number of times when speaking to non-tech friends they explain how they use the google web search box to type in web addresses, having never understood that you can use the address bar to enter the address!
Adding between 3-5% to your bottom line is a notable improvement and whilst it may be another example of a land grab by Google, in this case to dominate the online payment space, its’ not a bad trade in my opinion. Thanks Google.