May 21, 2013
Google To Put The Kibosh On Checkout, Transition To Wallet
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Google´s killing spree continues, this time resulting in the discontinuation of Google Checkout, an online payment processing business. Google launched Checkout to compete with other popular e-commerce companies such as Amazon and eBay. Now the search company is telling customers they´ll have just six months to find new means of payment processing before the Checkout lane is closed for good.
Google is now focusing their attention on Wallet, their mobile payment service which allows users to accept and receive money from their Android devices and elsewhere on the Internet. In a blog post, Google said they´ve partnered with Braintree, Shopify and Freshbooks to help online businesses migrate from Checkout to other services.
Google Checkout was merged with Wallet in 2011, but remained as an available service for those merchants who either preferred the old way or haven´t reviewed their payment processing infrastructure in more than a year. These merchants have until November 20 to either switch to one of the three listed partners or switch to Google Wallet Instant Buy, assuming they´ve already switched their payment processing handler.
“Shoppers can continue to use Google Wallet to make purchases on merchant apps and sites (such as Priceline, Uber, and Rue La La), as well as on Google properties, such as Google Play and Chrome Web Store,” writes Justin Lawyer in the blog post. Lawyer is a senior product manager for Google Wallet.
This announcement raises two very interesting points about Google. First, the company often kills off these tiny services in an effort to “put more wood behind fewer arrows.” With each death knell handed down from Google HQ, it becomes more apparent just how many fingers the company has in a wide range of proverbial pies. Google has often tried to step in the middle of many processes and services, likely to either fuel their algorithms and boost ad sales or simply boost these ad sales directly with the information they glean from their intermediary role. As they kill off these services (like the lamented Google Reader) they become more streamlined and focused on which products will be more beneficial to them, and after fighting for some seven years to overtake Amazon and eBay, they´ve clearly decided the ends didn´t justify the means.
Google´s Android began as nothing more than an iPhone competitor even before 2007 when Apple was rumored to be working on a smartphone. At the time, however, Android was more focused on working like BlackBerry, and it wasn´t until after the iPhone was released that it adopted the look it has today.
Similarly, Google decided to attack Facebook head-on in the summer of 2011 when it launched Google+. Though the social network doesn´t have near the amount of active users as Facebook, Google has been using this site to tie together the rest of their products and services, such as Google Glass and Hangouts. They even adjusted their search engine results to drive more traffic to Google+ pages to boost active viewership.
Google´s clear competitive history was hanging in the air during last week´s I/O developers conference when CEO Larry Page claimed the company doesn´t try to take on other companies head on.
“Every story I read about Google is ℠us vs some other company´ or some stupid thing, and I just don´t find that very interesting,” said Page, according to The Next Web. “We should be building Great things that don´t exist. Being negative isn´t how we make progress. Most important things are not zero sum, there is a lot of opportunity out there.”