Google Checkout Blog

Best practices for merchant payments

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

We're thrilled to see Google Checkout helping merchants across the web, and we hope the service has helped your store already. I'd like to share a few best practices we've been seeing that may help you be even more successful. Here it goes:

1. Charge orders within 72 hours
When a buyer confirms a purchase, you'll receive an order, and Google performs the authorization for 100% of the order amount. Then you must charge the order within 72 hours (that's 3 days) to be guaranteed the funds. More details are

2. Be sure to get the order and risk info before shipping
We strongly recommend that you don't ship an order until you've received the new order notification and risk assessment. Both of these notifications are critical to accurately evaluate each order's risk level - and we believe that merchants who review both prior to shipping will see more successful transactions.

3. Watch for cancelled orders
n some cases, orders in your merchant center may show up as "cancelled" after a successful authorization and a positive risk assessment. This might happen when you charge the card or capture funds after 72 hours, and the attempt to capture funds wasn't successful. In this situation, the buyer is notified that he or she needs to provide a new credit card. If that doesn't happen within 72 hours, the order then appears as "cancelled" in the mechant center. You might also see cancelled orders when a credit card expires after an initially successful authorization. Just be sure to monitor the merchant center for current status.

Support buyer inquiries
To help you maintain the strong relationships that you've developed with your customers, we recommend that buyers first reach out to you, the merchant, with their questions. This buyer-to-seller communication is easy with the 'Questions about your Order?' link on the Receipt Page within the user's Google Checkout account.

Why would buyers contact you? Here are some of the things you should expect to handle directly:
  • Changing an order
  • Requesting a refund
  • Cancelling an order
  • Status of an order
Once a buyer contacts you, we strongly encourage you to respond as quickly as possible.

5. Train your customer support staff
We recommend that all of your customer support staff learn all of the functions of the Google Checkout merchant interface, so your team can efficiently handle all the Checkout inquiries from the get-go. Soon we will share several initiatives designed to help you train your team, too. More on those coming up.