When Google Checkout–Google’s payment processor–was first offered to Internet users, it was available only to those with a United States billing address. I was able to register using my Citibank Visa and an imaginary US address, which I fixed as soon as I was able to login.
Since I was able to register, I became a Checkout member member with a saling-pusa (tag along) status because I was using a Philippine issued credit card and a Philippine billing address. I tried ordering books and CDs from various sites–including Buy.com–and was surprised to find out that my Google Chekout account was actually working. There’s a twist, however, because while Checkout processed my order, I was told that the store does not ship to the Philippines.
In August last year, I wrote Checkout’s customer service to request that they allow Philippine residents to use their services. I got this reply:
Thank you for your email and interest in Google Checkout. We appreciate your detailed and thoughtful feedback about having Google Checkout being able to be used in the Philippines. We’ll take this into consideration as we continue to enhance this product.
If you have additional questions or comments, please feel free to contact us again.
The Google Checkout Team
On May 21, 2007, I was able to successfully complete a Google Checkout transaction. I bought a domain name with Google Apps. After purchasing a few other domain names, I was then able to use Google Checkout to pay for my Dreamhost account. By then, I was already a certified Google Checkout user, but I believe Checkout was not yet officially offered to Philippine residents then.
Today, I visited Checkout’s Help section, and I was surprised to find out that “The Philippines” is already included in the list of locations where Checkout is available. I later learned that Pagbabago Pilipinas has already written about it as early as April of this year. I will try to find out the exact date when Google included us in this list.
If haven’t tried Google Checkout yet, you may want to register here.