Google Checkout, the online payment service launched in 2006 and combined with Google Wallet in 2011, will shut down for good on November 20.
Any merchant that relies on Google Checkout will have to choose a new payment processor. Braintree, Shopify and Freshbooks are offering discounted migration options, Google says.
Checkout has had a long and bumpy road. When Google first launched Checkout, it aggressively marketed the online payment service on its pricing. Merchants that used the Google Adwords advertising service could have some or all of their transaction fees waived. Merchants who did not get their fees waived still paid less than they would if they used PayPal.
But in 2009, Google severed Checkout's tie to Adwords and revised its fee structure to bring it almost exactly in line with PayPal's. This sparked a strong and immediate backlash among merchants, and prompted speculation that Google was taking steps to shut down the service entirely.
Two years later, Google combined Checkout with Google Wallet, a newer system designed for payments in retail stores. At the time, Google Checkout was used by 9% of consumers, according to Javelin Strategy and Research. The combination meant any consumer with a Google Checkout account would be automatically enrolled in Google Wallet, giving the younger product an immediate boost in its user base.
As part of that combination, Google changed its online branding for Google Checkout to Google Wallet.
The final shutdown of Google Checkout will primarily affect e-commerce merchants. Consumers and Google Play developers will carry over to the Google Wallet product, Justin Lawyer, senior product manager for Google Wallet, said in a May 20 post to the Google Commerce blog.
"Developers selling through other Google properties (such as Google Play, Chrome Web Store and Offers Marketplace) will continue to be supported and will automatically transition to the Google Wallet Merchant Center in the next few weeks," Lawyer wrote. "Shoppers can continue to use Google Wallet to make purchases on merchant apps and sites."
The announcement comes a week after Google integrated Google Wallet with Gmail, allowing users to send free payments from bank accounts via email, and developed a system for enabling one-click purchases from Android handsets. In addition, Uber, the smartphone app that lets consumers hail a cab or schedule a car service, recently added Google Wallet as a payment option.