eBay Revises Seller Policy, Excludes Google Checkout, Google Responds Defensively

eBay is making it nearly impossible for sellers to request payment through Google Checkout. The online auction giant updated and renamed its Safe Payments policy (now called “Accepted Payment Policy”) this week in an effort to add Google’s new payment service, Google Checkout, to its list of online payment methods not permitted. The reason?

According to the new revised policy, a payment service must have a “substantial historical track record of providing safe and reliable financial and/or banking related services.” Google responded by saying, “Google Checkout is not a beta product. Google has a long history in billing and payments for AdWords and for premium services, such as Google Video.” eBay’s reply? Probably something like, “uhhh…”

Though, in eBay’s defense, every blasted Google product known to man seems to come out with an eternal “beta” or “test” label (how long has it been for gmail now?). And the fact that Google has to specifically remind us that its latest service is not beta says quite a bit. In the past, the beta/test label was often pointed out as a safe haven / limit of liability for the company, which prides itself in having its employees spend 20 percent of their time working on these “pet projects.”

But it looks as if this methodology can backfire when the company is interested in releasing a product straight to the marketplace, skipping over it’s infamous beta/test period. Sure, sure, Google claims it has a “long history in billing and payments.” No doubt this is true, as it’s true for many companies. But there’s quite a difference between the somewhat ambiguous wannabe credibility booster of “history in billing and payments” and what Google Checkout is as a product.

And the irony is that with all its credibility, Google prematurely releasing practically all other software with the it’s-beta-so-be-careful stamp and then releasing a service with *gasp* no beta/test, only to be the service that could potentially provide some revenue diversification that Wall Street so desperately wants out of the company, thereby being the reason by which Google would need/want huge credibility quickly (since this will be a service people actually pay for)… Well, let’s just say it looks much like a series of unfortunate events when viewed through credibility glasses.

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