Google Checkout has been retired. You can no longer process orders. The last day to process refunds will be December 20, 2013.
LEGAL NOTICE: As of September 9, 2013, the Checkout Sunset Terms of Service (US | UK) shall supplement your existing Checkout Seller Terms of Service. Learn more

Google Checkout

Google Checkout Program Policies and Guidelines

The goal of the Google Checkout program is to help online merchants sell more by providing a fast, convenient, and safe online shopping experience for their buyers.

This document outlines the Google Checkout policies and guidelines that help ensure buyers have a positive interaction with Google Checkout merchants.

As a Google Checkout merchant, you're required to adhere to the Google Checkout policies at all times. In addition to the policies, we strongly recommend that you follow the Google Checkout guidelines (in italics), which are intended to help you generate more repeat purchases by providing your buyers with an exceptional user experience.

Google reserves the right to expand or edit these policies at any time. Google will also exercise its sole discretion in the interpretation and enforcement of these policies in conjunction with the program's Terms of Service.

  1. Buyer Communications and Information

    1. Send marketing emails only if buyers have consented to receive them

      Buyers may elect to receive marketing materials from you each time they order through Google Checkout. You must follow the buyer's most recent marketing preference associated with his or her email address.

    2. Allow users to remove themselves from mailing lists for direct mail

      You must provide a clear and easy process for Google Checkout buyers to remove their physical addresses from your direct marketing mailing list at any time. You must cease mailing materials to the buyer's physical address within 90 days of receiving the request.

    3. Do not sell or rent buyer information acquired through Google Checkout

      You may not sell or rent buyer information acquired through Google Checkout to third parties at any time.

    4. Keep Google Checkout purchase history up to date  

      You must update your buyers' Google Checkout purchase history with shipping notifications and package tracking numbers (if applicable) as soon as this information becomes available.

    5. Do not send correspondence to buyers that welcomes them to Google Checkout

      You may not send any correspondence to Google Checkout buyers that states or implies that you are receiving them into the Google Checkout program.

    6. Do not send order confirmation emails

      To provide a consistent shopping experience, Google will send order confirmation emails to buyers making purchases with Google Checkout. We strongly recommend that you reduce the number of redundant emails your buyers receive by not sending your own order confirmation emails.

  2. Order Management

    1. Capture funds within 7 days (168 hours)

      When a buyer places an order, we attempt to authorize the transaction for the purchase amount. If the transaction is authorized, you must capture funds within 168 hours of the authorization to guarantee the availability of funds. Funds not captured after 168 hours (including the remainder of partial fund captures), are no longer guaranteed to be available.

    2. Fulfill orders within 24 hours of capturing funds

      You may not capture funds more than 24 hours before you fulfill the order. Fulfill means you have shipped the physical product, delivered the digital content, or performed the service.

    3. Do not ask for zip codes prior to Google Checkout checkout unless necessary

      You may require buyers to provide their zip codes prior to Google Checkout checkout only if required to determine whether you can fulfill an order. (Example: You may require a zip code prior to checkout to ensure an item is in stock for a buyer's geographic location.) You may not ask for zip code information prior to checkout for any other reason.

    4. Ability to enter coupon codes must be available to buyers after initiating checkout through Google Checkout

      If you accept coupons on your website in any way, you must allow buyers to provide coupon code information in the Google Checkout checkout process.

    5. Provide reasonable backup shipping and tax rates

      When a Merchant Calculation request from Google times out, Google Checkout defaults to displaying backup tax and shipping rates that you specify in the shopping cart XML. We strongly recommend that you specify backup rates that are reasonable and approximate your average shipping and tax charges.

    6. Submit requests for manual adjustments in a timely manner

      You should process all transactions using the automated authorization, capture, and refund functions within Google Checkout. On rare occasions, you may wish to request a manual adjustment to a transaction if a problem occurs during the automated process. You must submit these requests for manual adjustments to us within 90 days of the original order date. We will review these requests for validity and make adjustments at our discretion.

  3. Google Checkout Branding and Acceptance Logo Guidelines

    1. Use standard Google Checkout acceptance logos only

      If you're a Google Checkout merchant in good standing, you may display the Google-hosted Checkout acceptance logo on your website. This logo informs prospective buyers that you accept Google Checkout. You may not alter the size, shape, color, or any other aspect of the acceptance logos provided by Google. Any use of the Google Checkout product name, logo, buttons, or associated imagery not explicitly authorized in this section is strictly prohibited.

    2. Do not position or present Google Checkout as a form of payment equivalent to Visa, MasterCard, etc.

      Google Checkout aggregates existing payment types to allow buyers and merchants to transact. Google Checkout is not a form of payment that replaces or is equivalent to existing payment types and must not be presented as such. Buyers using the ecommerce provider's standard checkout flow should not, therefore, encounter a payment field dropdown with Google Checkout listed alongside payment types like Visa, MasterCard, American Express, etc. Instead, the buyer should have the option of selecting Google Checkout as a distinct checkout flow as required in 4b.

  4. Google Checkout buttons and Buy Now buttons

    1. Use standard Google Checkout buttons only

      You may only use Google-hosted button images for Google Checkout buttons and Buy Now buttons. You may not alter the size, shape, color, or any other aspect of these images.

    2. Ensure 1:1 and adjacent button placement

      You should place a Google Checkout or Buy Now button immediately beside, above, or below every existing checkout button or link on your website wherever possible. (Because users tend to read horizontally, we recommend placing the Google Checkout or Buy Now button beside your existing buttons and links.)

      You must separate the Google Checkout flow from your existing checkout process. If buyers initiate your existing checkout process, they must not see a Google Checkout or Buy Now button.

      If you're using Buy Now buttons, you must display a Buy Now button in a visible and appropriate location for each item you'd like to sell using Google Checkout.

    3. Place Google Checkout buttons before your login pages

      Buyers should only have to provide their login, purchasing, and other information (including billing and shipping addresses and phone numbers) once. If you require users to register or sign in to your site, you must ensure Google Checkout and Buy Now buttons are available before the login process so buyers are able to check out with Google Checkout without having to log in. (You may still track visits and personalize pages using cookies.)

      You may place Checkout buttons after login pages if and only if the following conditions are met:

      • Your website exclusively sells digital content and requires a login in order to store the purchased content

        All items for sale behind a login must use the digital delivery shipping method as described in our Developer's Guide.

      • You display the Google Checkout Acceptance Logo on your website

        You must display the Google-hosted Checkout acceptance logo before the login pages of your website so buyers know that Google Checkout is accepted after login.

    4. Direct buyers quickly to Google

      If you're using Google Checkout buttons, you must ensure that buyers who click the Google Checkout button on your site see the Google Checkout confirmation page within one second, and without seeing any intermediate pages. This will help you avoid shopping cart abandonment. We recommend you consider pre-computing shopping carts, leveraging server to server posting, and other tips in our Developer's Guide.

    5. Do not disable the browser's 'Back' button

      Buyers who click their browser's 'Back' button should be brought from the Google confirmation page directly back to your site without seeing any intermediate pages. (Learn about server–to-server posting and other best practices in our Developer's Guide.)

    6. Identify unsupported purchases

      If you're using Google Checkout buttons, you must display the Google-hosted 'not available' button for orders not adhering to our content policies. (Learn more: Google Checkout content policies | Button options)

    7. Google Checkout must be available as a checkout option at least 95% of the time

      Google Checkout may be unsupported no more than 5% of the time, in which case you are required to display the 'not available' button as described in 4f. At least 95% of the time, Google Checkout must be offered as a checkout option, with the standard Google Checkout button prominently displayed.

    8. Direct your 'checkout' links and buttons to the checkout process

      Buttons or links containing the word 'checkout' should initiate a checkout process, not a 'view cart' page. The latter may confuse buyers and disrupt the purchase flow.

    9. Additional button messaging

      Including additional text around the Google Checkout button can help make it clear to buyers that they can check out using either Google Checkout or your existing checkout process. We recommend placing the text " – Or use – " between the Google Checkout button and your existing checkout button.

    10. Google Checkout for Mobile Buttons

      If you intend your site for display on mobile devices you may use lighter-weight, Google-hosted button images as your Google Checkout or Buy Now Buttons. As with standard Google Checkout buttons, you may not alter the size, shape, color, or any other aspect of these images. If you offer an alternative checkout method, you must place a Google Checkout button immediately above, below, or beside every existing checkout button or link on your website. Note that because users tend to navigate vertically when browsing the web with a mobile phone, we recommend placing the Google Checkout buttons below your existing buttons and links.

  5. Google Checkout Badges

    1. Ensure your website meets the Google Checkout e-commerce definition

      The website you integrate with Google Checkout must be solely or primarily intended to sell products or services. Otherwise, you won't be eligible to display Google Checkout badges on your Product Search results.

    2. Ensure your website conforms with Google Checkout button policies

      In order to display Google Checkout badges on your Product Search results, your website must meet the Google Checkout button and Buy Now button (section 4) policy requirements.

  6. Unacceptable Product Categories

    1. Prohibited items

      You may not accept payments through Google Checkout for the sale of any prohibited items as defined in our content policies.

  7. Chargeback Resolution Policy

    1. Google will evaluate all chargebacks you receive and, whenever possible, attempt to resolve them on your behalf

      Google evaluates all chargebacks you receive through Google Checkout and attempts to resolve them on your behalf when you provide sufficient documentation. Excessive chargebacks may result in negative action up to and including closure of your account.

    2. You do not forfeit your chargeback rights

      You do not forfeit your chargeback rights for Google Checkout transactions. Google will facilitate the representation of your chargebacks in accordance with the policies and procedures you currently follow today.

  8. Payment Guarantee Policy

    When a transaction is covered by Google's Payment Guarantee policy, it will be marked as 'eligible' in the UI or through the API. Under the Payment Guarantee policy, Google guarantees payment for all 'eligible' transactions that also meet the requirements below. If a transaction is covered by our Payment Guarantee policy and results in a chargeback, Google will request information from the merchant that is necessary to fight the chargeback. If the merchant provides Google with all requested documentation and information within 10 business days, Google will reimburse the merchant within a week of receiving the information.

    1. What the policy covers:

      • Orders for tangible goods

        Intangible goods, including services and digital content, are not covered.

      • 'Unauthorized payment' or 'item not received' chargeback claims 

        'Not as described' or 'defective merchandise' chargeback claims are not covered.

      • Orders shipped with proof of delivery

        You must provide proof of delivery to the buyer's shipping address as specified in the Google Checkout merchant center or API call. For transactions greater than US$250, you must provide signed proof of delivery with the buyer's signature.

      • Merchants responding to Google information requests within 10 business days 

        You must provide supporting information within 10 business days of receiving the request from Google.

      • Merchants publicly displaying return policies 

        You must display a formal return policy on your website.

  9. Policy Requirements for eCommerce Providers

    In addition to the policies outlined above, the following policies also apply to e-commerce providers:

    1. Support Google Checkout merchants

      You must address merchant support issues related to the merchant's store, hosting, shopping cart, Google Checkout integration, catalog, and transaction processing features.

    2. Offer Google Checkout option for merchants

      You must provide a way for new and existing merchants to sign up for Google Checkout on pages displaying your transaction processing options. The size and position of the Google Checkout option must be equal to the most visible option you display.

    3. Accept terms of use

      Google reserves the right to review and approve any website copy that references Google Checkout. You must remove or modify pages that Google finds inconsistent with the user experience goals and branding requirements of the Google Checkout program.